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

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Mon Jul 19 13:15:54 EDT 2010

----- Original Message -----
> We have a similar setup in another building (albeit for a much smaller
> installation) and it works okay. We have had some issues with tone
> length, but it seems to mostly work. Having said that this thread
> makes me frightened.

My intent wasn't to frighten people about VoIP, but to educate. Because we deal with business owners who are often demanding, we need to make sure they understand the give and take with VoIP.

Andrew's comments are correct most of the time. In other words, most people could put VoIP services in and be happy with the service, although they may hear some echo, or some jittery audio from time to time. There rest will find it unacceptable. Like Andrew said back-hoes can dig up anything. In my experience when people try new things they are extra sensitive to failures. Which makes a failure that affects major carriers okay, but one that affects only their carrier a fault of the solution.

My real message is that one has to be aware of the risks. Many business owners hear that VoIP is If I convince a business owner to go VoIP and, for cost reasons, the Internet access is shared with the office, (s)he will be mad if (s)he finds that it will cost an additional X dollars a month. If I tell her/him up front that it is a risk and they make the judgement then they are often more understanding when a problem arises (surprisingly some customers still blame the consultant.)

The difference in quality (audio, availability and other service) between POTS and VoIP exists. It's a more complex system that needs more care and feeding and more can go wrong with it. It does work 99.9% and maybe even 99.99%, but it's not 99.999%.

I'm still not giving up a POTS backup line, and from Andrew's comments, neither are some of his installs.

If you are concerned there are ways to tread into VoIP without committing to the whole thing. Using VoIP for dial-out is easy enough and you can configure it so you know when it's down. That way you can get comfortable with the solution. The longer it works well, the more understanding users are of loss of availability.

John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware 

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