Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Easy Convergence for Small Businesses

Convergence, the merging of voice and data networks, is a technology being pursued by large and medium size companies as a cost savings initiative. The idea is that operating two separate networks for telephone and Internet costs more than a combined or converged network.

The advantages of converged networks are clearer for new installations than retrofits. Right now, the solutions seem also to be targeted at enterprises with hundreds to thousands of employees. But what about smaller professional offices, retailers, manufacturers? Is there a way for them to save money with voice and data convergence?

Actually, there is a solution that is works very well for smaller companies that use half a dozen to a dozen outside telephone lines and broadband Internet access. That's the right scale for thousands of different types of businesses from auto dealerships to real estate offices to plastics factories. It's called Integrated T1 service.

You may not of heard of this service, even if you know about T1 lines. Companies that are heavy users of local and long distance telephone services know that T1 digital trunk lines can save money by replacing many individual analog business phone lines. T1 PRI service offers the perfect match for most business PBX telephone systems. T1 Dedicated Internet service offers superior stability and reliability compared to shared solutions such as DSL and Cable broadband. But what's Integrated T1?

The Integrated term means much the same as converged. T1 Integrated service integrates or combines voice and data service on a single T1 line. While many medium size companies simply one or more T1 lines for their telephone system and a separate T1 service for broadband Internet access, that solution gets a bit pricey for smaller companies. It may also result in telephone line capacity that is never really used. By combining telephone and Internet on the same line, you get a service and price that are optimized for smaller operations.

With Integrated T1 service, there is a single T1 line that runs between your company and your service provider. There's a device called an IAD or Integrated Access Device at each end that provides the interface. The IAD connects to your phone system to provide 3, 6, or up to 12 outside lines. It also connects to your router to provide the broadband Internet connection.

So how can one line do double duty? The IAD manages the bandwidth of the line. Many times the IAD converts both voice and data to a packet protocol with Quality of Service controls. Telephone calls have priority so that voice quality is always maintained. Dynamic bandwidth management uses whatever line capacity that is not currently dedicated to phone conversations for Internet access. By limiting the number of phone lines supported to a maximum of 12, you are assured of always having adequate Internet bandwidth.

There are no special equipment requirements for customers of Integrated T1 line service. The provider supplies and manages the IAD that is located on your premises. You keep the telephone and network equipment you now have but enjoy the cost savings and high reliability of this professional telecom service.

Can you benefit from Integrated T1 or other competitive wireline services for your company? Find out quickly and easily with our T1 service pricing and availability tool at T1 Rex.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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