A Plain Old Telephone Service or POTS line is a tried and true part of communications, but it can’t last forever.Copper is expensive. Although markets fluctuate, the amount of copper needed to run a POTS line is more expensive than using the increasingly more common network cables.Ethernet cables are used for everything from home networking to business network backbones. Everything deteriorates, but it’s cheaper to replace an old Ethernet cable than an old copper line.
Replacement and maintenance aren’t the only factors. With copper systems, you need to request specific numbers for specific lines. Although this isn’t as rigid and difficult as the old days of plugging in switches for specific lines, VOIP does it better. With a VOIP system, you can change numbers without going through a telephone company’s time-consuming process. The number for your business can be changed through a website or your internal VOIP network, and you can change numbers for desk phones.
Desk phone management is where VOIP technology shines. Internal phone numbers for specific offices, stations, and hotlines can get hectic, and you may think of a better number scheme later on.
If your business grows to the point of using difficult, long extensions, you can remake the numbering system at your leisure. Be sure to document changes and perform a thorough review first, but enjoy flexibility and control to change your internal numbers as you see fit.
Can Your Network Support VOIP?
VOIP performance depends on the health of your network. It’s about more than just fast internet.When people experience internet delays, their first reaction is to complain about slow speeds or run a speed test.
Unfortunately, a speed test or an entry level ISP (Internet Service Provider) technician may see acceptable or better than desired speeds while your network continues to suffer.Consistency is the bigger issue to tackle, and there’s unfortunately no mass market term to measure consistency. This is because consistency depends on speed, the amount of successful data packets that arrive, and the efficiency of the network path.
In other words, the information needs to move fast enough, not fail on the way, and not take a meandering path from point start to finish. This can be hard to identify because certain tasks such as web browsing or video streaming can play without problems while VOIP suffers.The main requirement in VOIP use is quality, because erratic network quality can destroy your audio. These are live, one-shot transmissions that can’t be sent again if the data is damaged.When you speak into a VOIP headset, your voice data only has one chance to make it. If it fails, the damaged or lost data will manifest as the robotic or twisted audio sounds that many people recognize when internet voice systems have problems.
You can repeat yourself, but that’s not sending the data again. That’s saying the same thing with new data that could be corrupted as well. Since VOIP is a lot more sensitive, you may experience terrible calls while most other internet activities are fine.If you’re using VOIP for business, residential internet is out of the question. You can risk quality loss and may not have a problem most of the time, but if you need to demand better internet quality, VOIP-levels of performance aren’t actually part of most residential packages.
Business-class internet is a better choice, but you’ll still need to test network performance. The main benefit of business-class internet isn’t the internet quality, but the higher priority to receive support and maintenance.
Make sure that any ISP you choose knows that you’re using VOIP traffic on your network. It’s not difficult to repair connections for better performance, but it’s not cost effective to bring residential units up to higher accuracy that isn’t being used.If you need help with choosing a VOIP service, configuring your network, or testing network performance, contact a VOIP technician.