DS3, often referred to as T3, is a 45 mbps (megabits per second) circuit used for transmitting data packets. A DS3 is the equivalent of 28 DS1s. DS1s are more commonly referred to as T1s. A DS3 network can either be comprised of a series of DS3 point-to-point circuits, or a DS3 VPN (virtual private network). A VPN utilizes major advancements in technology to establish secure private communication channels, for the transfer of data, over shared networks such as private intranets or the public internet. Currently, the most popular and state-of-the-art VPNs are based on MPLS (multiprotocol label switching). An MPLS DS3 network provides any-to-any connectivity and redundancy over DS3 circuits. The best MPLS networks are facilitated within the closed systems of specific tier 1 telecom providers. Within the closed system of a tier 1 provider, MPLS networks are as secure as point-to-point private lines, but much more, redundant, functional and far less expensive. With quality of service (QoS), MPLS networks are extremely well suited for transmitting voice, priority files, multiple location audio or video conferencing, or high quality video transmission to and from anywhere in the network. For companies with lower bandwidth needs, T1 (DS1) MPLS networks are becoming extremely popular. With T1 and bonded T1, these networks can accommodate from 1.5 mbps up to 12 mbps per location. T1 and bonded T1 MPLS networks share all of the capabilities and advantages mentioned above, but are extremely affordable, and come completely managed by providers, with all equipment, configuration and ongoing maintenance included. These state-of-the art networks are pretty much turn-key. It is also important to note that with MPLS; T1, bonded T1, fractional DS3 and full DS3 locations can all be included in the same MPLS network. This is great for accommodating the varied bandwidth needs of each location within the network.