If you own a company or are responsible for managing the voice and data at your company, you have to know about the Integrated T-1. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol circuits (also called Integrated T-1′s) are a great option for many small and medium sized businesses. Many have heard of getting a VoIP phone system, but how about a VoIP circuit? Different from a traditional configuration where you have 2 separate circuits, a T-1 to the Internet and a PRI T-1 for all of your voice traffic, a single VoIP T-1 can handle both your voice traffic and your Internet (data) traffic all with a single T. For those businesses that have many lines or need bigger pipes to the Internet, this type of service is offered from 1.5 Mb up to 10 Mb depening upon the carrier you get the service from.
Go here for additional explanation on VoIP. Many people don’t like Wikipedia but I think it’s quite valuable for those of us in technology. It seems that those contributing to the site in our industry are quite specific and detailed about the terms we use. I find them to be about 95% accurate with regard to the terms I’ve seen.
Here are a few reasons a business should go with this product for their voice and data service:
1.) Price is the first advantage of going this route. Where the traditional 2 circuit option will usually run about $800-1,200/month depending upon carrier, many offer their dynamic voice over IP T’s for under $600/month. You’ll have the option of ordering this service with either an analog or PRI interface. If you only need 4 lines you’ll go with the analog line option, but if you currently have a PRI voice T-1 with DID numbers, you’ll want to go with the PRI interface when you order a VoIP dynamic T-1.
2.) Convenience. Instead of having two circuits to manage, you’ll only manage a single circuit. One throat to choke often makes one’s life easier.
3.) Bundle is good and easy! Integrated T-1′s are usually offered as a bundle. You’ll get local, long distance, toll free and some form of web based management tool to control feature capability and gain access to bandwidth reports.
Above I mention “dynamic” T-1 a few times – I want to explain what that means, because VoIP T-1′s haven’t always been dynamic. When a carrier tells you that their service has this quality it means that whatever isn’t used for voice will automatically be available for data or Internet access. Each phone call will eat up a certain amount of bandwidth – multiple calls eat up more. The more voice calls are taking place the less bandwidth you have to get out to the Internet. As it should be, voice is always the priority. When this service first came out, these “fixed” T-1′s automatically had a certain amount of bandwidth carved out for voice and some carved out for data. Today that has changed, most all carriers now offer dynamic VoIP T’s.
Although many of the carriers today offer dynamic T-1′s (including the big guys) I’ve found that only a few are able to do a good job at providing these: XO Communications, Integra Telecom, and Paetec. Verizon, AT&T, and Qwest came into this game a bit late. I’ve found their VoIP offerings to work well once they’re installed, but there still seems to be pain on the front end to get these services into place. The CLECs have been provisioning these for more than 8 years so they really have it down. If you own a small or medium sized business or carry the responsibility for managing the voice and data service at your company, it’s worth your while to learn about VoIP Integrated T-1′s.