Monthly Archives: February 2015

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SIP Trunks Replace Traditional Telecom PRI

Carolina Digital PhoneWhat’s overly expensive, set in its ways and headed down the road to obsolescence? It’s telecommunications via Primary Rate Interface, and if your business still uses this old-time voice delivery method, you might want to ask yourself why.

What PRI Is and Is Not:  PRI is nothing more than a form of digital circuitry that offers its users 23 channels or voice paths over a single signaling circuit. Because PRI connects directly to the , the call quality is good. Unfortunately, the entire PRI system calls for a substantial investment in cables and hardware. This makes it less than ideal for use in the modern business office.

Session Initiated Protocol Trunking: With SIP trunking, all calls route through the Internet, requiring no external hardware or circuitry. Instead of interfacing with the telephone company, the SIP trunk connects your organization directly to an Internet telephony service provider. This use of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, makes it vastly less expensive to operate while providing a flexibility that positions it well for modern business use.

Benefits of SIPWhen calculating the ways in which SIP outstrips PRI, several features come to mind. Chiefly, an SIP trunk provides:

A virtual connection. Unlike PRI, SIP trunking has no need for cables and termination hardware to connect each individual circuit.

  • Scalability. Perhaps the biggest selling point of any VoIP system is its ability to add capacity through nothing more involved than a simple software reconfiguration. With SIP, you’re dealing with only one network and one set of cables. With PRI, on the other hand, scaling up requires the installation of new circuits and hardware. This can take weeks to accomplish.
  • Savings. The already high cost of running on PRI will rise in line with the number of voice channels a company uses. An SIP trunking system, on the other hand, bases its pricing on actual usage, saving its users hundreds of dollars each month.
  • Reliable disaster recovery. The simplified setup of SIP eliminates the headache of recovering from telecommunication loss due to accident or natural disaster. Whereas the diversion of PRI calls to alternative locations can be costly and involved, the business that runs with an SIP-based telephony system can trust that its calls will automatically reroute to one or more functioning localities.Without question, the capability and cost-effective nature of SIP trunking have already far outstripped any benefits of the older technology. While VoIP rules the day, the death knell for PRI has already begun to ring.

When considering SIP Services for your telephone system call the experts at Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000.

A company is only as good as the people it keeps

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”  ~ Mary Kay Ash

North State Fiber Comes to Greensboro

IMG_4697IMG_4696Throughout the Starmount neighborhood I am seeing Datawatt Solutions trucks installing orange interduck for fiber to be installed in homes in Greensboro. This excites me to see finally we might get some competition in our city for high speed internet access, not to mention we might get real high definition television at a reasonable price. As the trucks roll closer to my street in Hamilton Lakes I made inquiry to North State and they told me:

Carol Lockhart <Carol.Lockhart@nscom.com> , 2/9/2015 12:35 PM:
Hi Nicky.

As you are aware North State is installing Fiber in several areas in Greensboro. I've heard from others in the area that you understand what fiber can mean to residents and businesses and that you might be a great contact for us.

It appears that your address is in our Phase 2 section of the build. This means availability at your address will be a little further out.

Best regards,
Carol Lockhart
Sr. Manager - Relationship Marketing
1730 Westchester Dr., 
High Point, NC 27262

North State Fiber brings amazing things to your home. Gigabit Internet. Stunning HD. Limitless possibilities.

North State Communications is taking this as an opportunity to jump into the Greensboro market and deliver Gigabit fiber to homes and businesses in Greensboro when Google has made the decision to go to Charlotte and Raleigh. For my limited knowledge of North State Telephone they are a privately held, very profitable, cash rich family in High Point that has the capital to build their fiber network into Greensboro. North State is an innovative, forward-thinking communications and information technology company dedicated to meeting the needs of consumers and businesses in High Point, Thomasville, Archdale, Randleman, Jamestown, Trinity, Greensboro, Kernersville and beyond. Their goal is to provide the best, most technologically advanced products and services available supported by local, knowledgeable, friendly technicians and sales representatives. My long term speculation is that if North State builds a carrier-class fiber network in the Piedmont Triad it will long-term benefit them not because they will create a new revenue stream, but will build a value more than of their small private telephone company in High Point positioning themselves for an exit strategy that will pocket them many millions.

The competitive market internet savvy home bound tele-workers is about to become much better. I think with North State making the large multi-million dollar investment into the Greensboro community this should tell us that someone in High Point sees an opportunity to help us grow and have some competition. Maybe TW Cable and AT&T will pony up their game and improve their service, technology and pricing. TW Cable’s 50 year old coax cable radio signal technology know as DOCSIS 3.0 is outdated and has an end-of-life.

Time-Warner-Cable-LogoFrankly, living in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, being a business owner and a tax paying citizen,  I am fed up with only having two options TW Cable and AT&T. TW Cable has the worst technology and absolutely the worst customer service of any company I have ever had to deal with in my lifetime. I can say honesting I have had better experiences dealing with the IRS and the FCC than I have with TW Cable.

angry internet userEvery time it rains in Greensboro I am guaranteed to have internet problems. When school get out in the afternoon and kids get home to surf the net my access slows down. I have shown TW Cable router engineers problems they have in their core network and they only tell me they are doing the best they can with the resources they have because I am told unofficially that their capital improvements have been frozen until after the TW Cable – Comcast merger.

By they way if you think Time Warner Cable customer service is bad, wait until to talk to a Comcast customer service representative. Read the Criticism of Comcast Customer service posted on Wikipedia. It a miracle that they are still in business except they have a monopoly on the market. I will not go in to my beliefs to why they have a monopoly, only to say look at the lobbyist groups in Washington DC. Read Comcast and Time Warner Cable Spend $5 Million Lobbying in Q1, or  in Time Magazine online Why Comcast has 76 lobbyist working in Washington DC.

Did you know?

small businessesThere are 27 million small businesses in the U.S., which generate income for 70 million employees and family members. Small businesses create 4,000 new jobs on an average day. This is 90 percent of new jobs in America. We are a true small business nation.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce/Small Business Administration

“And fifth, we will champion small businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.” – Mitt Rommney

Famous Quote for Today

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary” – Steve Jobs

Benefits of SIP Trunking for Your Business

From PC World, Paul Desmond wrote an article called “Five Business Benefits of SIP Trunking:” As the Infonetics numbers indicate, small and medium-sized businesses have some good reasons to move to SIP Trunking. Here are five of them.

  1. Lower cost. While the figures vary widely depending on what you currently have and the exact SIP trunk offering you replace it with, savings in the 30% to 60% range are well within the realm of possibility. What’s more, while PRI and T1 lines are sold in certain increments, such as four, eight or 24 channels, you can order SIP trunks in any size you want. If you’ve got a small office that requires only one or two sessions at a time, you can order and pay for a trunk of only that size.
  2. Highly scalable. And should that office grow over time, you can add more circuits to the SIP trunk, again ordering only what you need. No more trying to calculate whether it’s worth moving from a PRI to T1 or T1 to T3, even though you know you don’t need the entire capacity of the larger line.
  3. More flexibility. You can also adjust the size of your SIP trunk to allow for variations in bandwidth requirements, such as to deal with seasonal changes in call volumes. Similarly, you can dynamically vary the amount of bandwidth given to any application based on requirements at any point in time.
  4. Support for Unified Communications. SIP is crucial for enabling UC applications including presence and advanced features such as the ability to transfer a call from a mobile phone to a laptop-based soft phone without dropping it. SIP trunks provide the network foundation upon which your firm can deploy such applications.
  5. Reliability and disaster recovery. Because they’re IP-based, SIP trunks are far more flexible than traditional “fixed” circuits such as T1 or PRI lines. Users can program SIP lines such that if a given user is out of the office, or an entire office is out of commission, the lines roll over to backup sites, phones or devices located anywhere on the company’s network – or at a backup facility. It’s all based on the business rules you set up ahead of time.
Key Reasons Companies Want VoIP

Carolina Digital PhoneIs your business ready to experience the cost savings and added functionality of Voice Over IP? Not sure where to start? You are not alone. The number of companies adopting VoIP as their main communication mechanism is increasing exponentially. But why? An InformationWeek Research study carried out on 280 companies currently using or planning to use VoIP yielded some important characteristics, depicting a much-expected trend. Here are the top reasons why companies want to adopt VoIP:

  1.  66% – Lower telecommunications costs
  2.  43% – Desire to merge voice and data networks
  3.  41% – Obtain a platform for one-stop communications in two or more areas
  4.  36% – Increase collaboration benefits in two or more areas
  5.  31% – Ease of management
  6.  24% – Scalability

The VoIP experts at Carolina Digital Phone will help you make the right hardware selection and package that is best for your growing business.

Google Fiber goes to Charlotte and Raleigh, Greensboro has another option

City of GreensboroSunday, February 14, 2015 Update: I have been questioned about my source of this information regarding the City/County officials and their commitment to Google Fiber in Greensboro will verify this soon. I am told that County and City officials in Greensboro voted not to offer Google any financial incentives or support to build fiber optics to homes and businesses in Greensboro which would have had a major economic boost to the local economy in addition attract high tech jobs and businesses to Greensboro. This information is unconfirmed but my sources are reliable. This disappoints me that our City and County officials are so blind to this incredible opportunity to take Greensboro from a textile, insurance and tobacco city to a tech savvy city that will have the ability to compete in the world market for new business opportunities. I welcome any feedback on this matter from anyone that knows more about this lame decision on the part of our city/county officials.

In Raleigh Gov Pat McCrory gives Durham mayor Bill Bell an enthusiastic handshake after Google announced plans to host gigabit broadband in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Morrisville, Cary, Carrboro and Garner during a press conference Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Read more at Google bringing its high-speed Internet service to the Triangle in the Raleigh News Observer.

Google announced last February the The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon welcomed the chance to work with Google, especially since many observers have called such warp-speed Internet connections magnets for tech entrepreneurs.With that being said I am disgusted that our local city and county officials have missed such a grand opportunity to help our community grow into the technology meca I would like to have seen. Every city Google goes to see an impact.  In a recent study suggests that as gigabit services become available in more communities, the impact on economies and consumers is likely to be substantial. Indeed, if the 41 communities in their study without gigabit broadband were to adopt the new service, they could expect as much as $3.3 billion in incremental GDP. Furthermore, Early Evidence Suggests Gigabit Broadband Drives GDP posted by Fiber to The Home Council Americas research that be downloaded at Early Evidence Suggests Gigabit Broadband Drives GDP.
How does Google Fiber Compare to other Internet Service Providers:Google Fiber Google would not disclose exact prices for its planned Internet service in the Triangle, but the company said it would be on par with earlier deployments. In Austin, $70 per month gets the gigabit connection and a terabyte of Internet cloud storage, while the $130 monthly plan also includes 150-plus television channels. Subscribers can also get permanent access at lower speeds for a one-time $300 fee. AT&T offers a gigabit Internet connection for $120, and a TV-Internet bundle for $150. More competition may come online in the near future, too. In many cases, providers can juice more speed out of their existing networks by attaching new transmission equipment to their fiber-optic lines.

North State Fiber brings amazing things to your home. Gigabit Internet. Stunning HD. Limitless possibilities.On the other hand our friends just to the south, North State Communications is taking this as an opportunity to jump into the Greensboro market and deliver Gigabit fiber to homes and businesses in Greensboro. For my limited knowledge of North State Telephone they are a privately held, very profitable, cash rich family in High Point that has the capital to build their fiber network into Greensboro. North State is an innovative, forward-thinking communications and information technology company dedicated to meeting the needs of consumers and businesses in High Point, Thomasville, Archdale, Randleman, Jamestown, Trinity, Greensboro, Kernersville and beyond. Their goal is to provide the best, most technologically advanced products and services available supported by local, knowledgeable, friendly technicians and sales representatives. My long term speculation is that if North State builds a carrier-class fiber network in the Piedmont Triad it will long-term benefit them not because they will create a new revenue stream, but will build a value more than of their small private telephone company in High Point positioning themselves for an exit strategy that will pocket them many millions.

lck75xpcaThe competitive market internet savvy home bound tele-workers is about to become much better. I think with North State making the large multi-million dollar investment into the Greensboro community this should tell us that someone in High Point sees an opportunity to help us grow and have some competition. Maybe TW Cable and AT&T will pony up their game and improve their service, technology and pricing. TW Cable’s 50 year old coax cable radio signal technology know as DOCSIS 3.0 is outdated and has an end-of-life.

Time-Warner-Cable-LogoFrankly, living in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, being a business owner and a tax paying citizen,  I am fed up with only having two options TW Cable and AT&T. TW Cable has the worst technology and absolutely the worst customer service of any company I have ever had to deal with in my lifetime. I can say honesting I have had better experiences dealing with the IRS and the FCC than I have with TW Cable.

angry internet userEvery time it rains in Greensboro I am guaranteed to have internet problems. When school get out in the afternoon and kids get home to surf the net my access slows down. I have shown TW Cable router engineers problems they have in their core network and they only tell me they are doing the best they can with the resources they have because I am told unofficially that their capital improvements have been frozen until after the TW Cable – Comcast merger.

By they way if you think Time Warner Cable customer service is bad, wait until to talk to a Comcast customer service representative. Read the Criticism of Comcast Customer service posted on Wikipedia. It a miracle that they are still in business except they have a monopoly on the market. I will not go in to my beliefs to why they have a monopoly, only to say look at the lobbyist groups in Washington DC. Read Comcast and Time Warner Cable Spend $5 Million Lobbying in Q1, or  in Time Magazine online Why Comcast has 76 lobbyist working in Washington DC.

As the weeks continue I will have more post on our local internet access opportunities. Please feel free to post your comments.
Nicky Smith

FCC wants to regulate Internet like phone service

tom wheelerThe chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing unprecedented rules to regulate Internet service providers — including mobile broadband — like a public utility, in a far-reaching move that could be one of the most divisive plans to emerge from the agency in years.

In an op-ed in Wired magazine posted online, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said his plan would regulate Internet service much like phone service or any other public utility by applying Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

In doing so, the agency would prohibit providers from slowing down, speeding up or blocking web content.

“I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC,” he wrote. “My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers should not move some content faster than others or enter into paid agreements with companies such as Netflix to prioritize their data. Advocates for this approach say it would keep the Internet free and open — making content equally available to everyone and treating the Internet as a pipeline that must not restrict access.

“Reclassifying the Internet as a utility — equally accessible to all — is hugely popular with voters of all political stripes, who don’t want old corporations writing the rules,” Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said in a statement praising Wheeler’s plan.

Continue Reading →

New Area Code 628 Overlay in San Francisco 415 Area

415-628What is the New Dialing Procedure?
To complete calls from a landline phone, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial 1 + area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 415 or 628 area codes need to be dialed using 1 + area code + telephone number. To complete calls from a cellular or mobile phone, callers may dial the area code + telephone number or 1 + area code + telephone number whenever placing a call from a phone number with the 415 or 628 area code.

When will the change become Mandatory?
Beginning February 21, 2015, you must use the new dialing procedure for all calls. If you do not use the new dialing procedure, your call will not be completed, and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again. However, all customers are encouraged to begin using the new dialing procedure before February 21, 2015.

Why is the change Necessary?
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the 628 area code will be added to the area served by 415. Since two area codes will now serve the same geographic region, the area code must be used when dialing any telephone number-including calls within the same area code. Beginning March 21, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the 628 area code.

What is an area code overlay?
An overlay is the addition of another area code (628) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (415). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.

What will you need to do to prepare for the overlay?
In addition to changing your dialing procedures, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a 7-digit number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure. Some examples are life safety systems or medical devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions, etc. Be sure to check your website, business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included. Continue Reading →