[kwlug-disc] OT: Roger's phone services

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Sun Jul 18 07:41:16 EDT 2010

I'm not talking about voice quality alone, but that is a big one.

You say "unless" and "if" and that's exactly the quality issue.

Use VoIP on a shared internet and have someone download an iso, how's the 
audio quality for the remote party? And that's just your last mile link. If 
you are in a bad Roger's neighbourhood that can happen when your neighbours 
get home from school.

Then a little fluctuation in any one of the many hops between you and your 
ITSP and you've got some echo to deal with. Sure it's rare but more common 
than POTS.

Then high packet loss networks offer another audio issue. This really only 
applies to bad or overloaded shared connections like wireless or cable but 
it happens.

I have seen all of these in my customer base.

Then consider time to repair. If a business line goes down the ttr for it is 
4 hours from bell. DSL is 2 days. Some business can weather a 4 hour, but 2 
days would be far worse.

Then look at all the things that have to work for a VoIP line to function 
compared to a POTS line and consider what the difference in MTTR is. Sure 
all the POTS equipment is there except its located at a CO, but they do 
achieve better reliability that us computer guys.
Now for the cost. Consider a small office with 4 lines. They keep 1 POTS 
line for backup and perhaps one for fax. To ensure audio quality you buy a 
DSL from your ITSP for $70 (or tell me where to buy $50 links) and you're 
back up to the same $140 or so in "line" costs. But you'll save a little on 
long distance, most of which you could do by switching long distance 

Now calculate the payback on replacing the perfectly good old PBX. They can 
only really justify it for the new features, or if their old PBX needed 
replacing anyway.

As for a consumer buying VoIP service, they are not buying the $2.50 a la 
carte unlimitel service, they are buying the $25/month package that includes 
unlimited local calls,  but higher long distance, and support for customer 
premise hardware. In fact I checked a while ago and can't find that package 
at unlimitel any more.

Can audio quality *be* better than POTS sure, but it generally won't stay 
that way 100% of the time for 100% of the people. If it does then you have a 
rocking internet connection and an isp that are under utilized.

To prove one point try to run a POTS fax or modem over VoIP. It only works 
with the most consistent connections. It works most of the time with POTS 
and most of the time it doesn't with VoIP.

----- Original Message -----
From: kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org <kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org>
To: kwlug-disc at kwlug.org <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
Sent: Sun Jul 18 01:12:05 2010
Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] OT: Roger's phone services

On Saturday, July 17, 2010 08:30:22 am John Van Ostrand wrote:
> One thing I have to tell all customers who opt for VoIP. The fact is you 
> an
> have it cheap with reduced quality or good quality for the same price as
> POTs. For small installs this is the case.

I have to disagree here.

Unless you're torrenting or using other high-bitrate UDP traffic, any of the
Linksys/Dlink style voip routers will give you phone service comparable to a
hardline. TCP is pretty straightforward to shape, and the p2p style stuff 
so bad if you have some help from your upstream (which almost NOBODY will be
able to get, thus my conditional statement).

A decent VOIP provider (unlimitel, voip.ms, etc.) gives you more than
acceptable service for far less than you'll get from Bell or their 

> People like VoIP for reduced cost and for the features.

Agreed, and as long as you're not flooding your link, using questionable
equipment and/or not going with a fly-by-night VOIP provider you should 
never be able to tell you're on a VOIP line.

Decent ATAs are practically commodity items now (SPA2012 etc.) so unless 
customer is REALLY trying to save a buck the hardware shouldn't be an issue.
95% of the troubles I find are to do with poor internet link management, and
the other 5 due to people going with jokers who'll save them fractions-of-a-
cent per minute.

For higher-end installs I usually recommend a separate internet connection,
but I'm also usually talking 8+ lines so that the extra $50+/mo is easier to


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