Thursday, March 29, 2007

Common Questions On T1 Bandwidth - With Practical Answers

Confused about T1 bandwidth? No need to be any longer. Here's some of the most commonly asked questions .... with practical answers to set you straight and on your way to confidently utilizing this backbone of business voice and data networks.

For the rest of the story read the entire article here:

Common Questions On T1 Bandwidth - With Practical Answers

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Is VoIP A Good Choice For Business Telephone Systems?

Many businesses apply VoIP much like electronic voting machines have been done- a solution in search of a problem. They get VoIP not because it's better, or provides things they need, but because it's the latest technology. In the end make a smart informed business decision. To VoIP or not to VoIP....that is the question. The answer may be even maybe.

For more insights read the entire article here:

Is VoIP A Good Choice For Business Telephone Systems?

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Help Selling Cisco, 3Com, Lucent, Nortel, NEC, Avaya, ETC Equipment

We are looking for Value Added Resellers (VARs) who are looking for the ability to do real-time price and availability research for their clients, who are looking for one single point of contact for T1 services, and who want to be a recipient of network installation and equipment leads that we generate (both from retail marketing and business consulting). Conversely, we want to partner with you to so that we offer your VAR expertise, services and equipment leads for our T1 services. In basic terms, if you help us find T1 service customers, we will help find you equipment and service leads!

We're looking for telephone system dealers and installers involved with pbx systems, including Avaya, Nortel, Cisco, NEC, Artisoft, Toshiba, 3Com-NBX, AT&T, ITT, NEC, Siemens/Rolm, Asterisk, Ericcson, GTE, Hitachi, Lucent, Mitel, Panasonic, Polycom, Tellabs, Linksys, and more.

We're also looking for network dealers and installers for Advantech, Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks, Juniper Networks, Linksys, Qlogic, Motorola, and SBS Technologies.

Additionally, we're interested in VARs for any of the following ipPBX, and VoIP equipment brands including 3Com-NBX, Artisoft, ADTRAN, Accutone, AltiGen, Avaya, Bogen, Cisco, Executone, Asterisk, Nitsuko, Meridian, Polycom, Telrad, Applied Voice Technology (AVT), AT&T, Bosch, Comdial, Ericsson, Estech (ESI), IDS, Intecom, Isotec, ITT, Lucent Technologies, Mitel, NEC Communications, Nortel Networks, Quintum, Redcom, Sprint, Rolm, TalkSwitch, Toshiba, Trilium, Vodavi, and more.

We're offering an additional resource to all VARs of the above for equipment and network sales and installation leads.

More information is available at:

VAR Info


VAR Network

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Cell Phone Differences Around The World

"Can you hear me now" takes on a whole new meaning when comparing mobile phone technology, markets, and culture around the world.

So here's the $1 million dollar question (OK....a little exageration there)....

Between America, Europe, and Asia....who does mobile phones better?

U.S. News & World Report takes a look at the differences in mobile phone use in these three different areas of the world, starting with simply what "we" call our cell phones and moving on to their most common use in each area.

U.S. News & World Report

The report explains that in Asia, the market is so dominated by single companies that operators can easily direct trends, and cell phones (called simply mobiles) are used there for everything from online banking to purchasing items from vending machines.

In contrast, Europeans move easily from one cell phone network to another using roaming chips and the issue of most concern is often the style and design of the phone.

As for users here in America, we’re more likely to use our cell phones for listening to music and playing games online.

This won't be helpful to users in Asia and Europe.....but anyone in the US can look up and compare cell phones (and everything that goes with them) via this free online resource:

Cell Phone Comparison

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.

As the term says VoIP is the transmission of voice communication through IP packets and, therefore, through the Internet. VoIP can use accelerating hardware to achieve this purpose and can also be used in a PC environment.

Webopedia defines it as: A category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls. For users who have free, or fixed-price Internet access, Internet telephony software essentially provides free telephone calls anywhere in the world. To date, however, Internet telephony does not offer the same quality of telephone service as direct telephone connections.

There are many Internet telephony applications available. Some, like CoolTalk and NetMeeting, come bundled with popular Web browsers. Others are stand-alone products. Internet telephony products are sometimes called IP telephony, Voice over the Internet (VOI) or Voice over IP (VOIP) products.

If you're wondering whether this is something that can just replace your standard home telephone service, the answer is that many are doing just that, and Packet8, SunRocket, and Vonage seem to be the popular choices.

For more information discussing and comparing various VoIP or Broadband Phone providers we suggest you read this article:

Comparing VoIP Providers For Small Business Solutions

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Monday, March 12, 2007

What Does Vonage Do Now???

Is that the sound of the other foot dropping on Vonage?

The recent unfavorable judgement in their patent infringement fight with Verizon heeps even MORE embarassement on their so called "management team".

The jury found that Vonage had infringed on three of the five patents Verizon accused its rival of doing. The infringed patents cover the technology used to connect Vonage's voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) calls to the regular phone network, as well as some features for implementing call-waiting and voice-mail services.

The payment, which of course will be appealed, is exactly one-thirds that of the $197 million Verizon had requested. The reason for this is that the jury did not find that the infringement was willful. That degree of infringement is often assessed as triple damages.

Verizon had requested that the use of the allegedly infringed patents by Vonage should result in elements of Vonage being shut down pending settlement. That matter will be addressed in another court hearing on March 23.

You can read more on the judgement at Vonage Patent Infringement

I found this quote particularly alarming....for investor and customer alike:

"Vonage is already losing money," said Clayton Moran, an equities analyst with Stanford Group. "If you add the expenses of the damages, royalties and the ongoing legal battles, it just throws their future profitability further into question."

I mean.....come on.

I've already chronicled the ineptness that is Vonage....including their miserable attempt at an earlier articles here at Broadband Nation:

Has The Vonage Death Watch Begun....Or Just Continuing?

Vonage Stock Coninues To Take A Nose Dive

Vonage Shares Fall 14%....I Warned Ya

Vonage Costs To Customers Just Went Up.....Uh Oh

Vonage Churn....Investor Heartburn

Vonage Sucks! Yea...I Said It!

The recent Vonage legal troubles are indicative of an overall leadership attitude which at best borders on the self-destructive.

Of course Vonage will appeal the judgement requiring them to pay Verizon $58 Million for "stealing" patents owned by Verizon. But the fallout is already being felt. Vonage stock tumbled another 14% last Friday ending at an all time low of $4.17 per share (By the way....well below their targeted IPO price of not too long ago by almost 75%.)

Can you say....OUCH!

Don't expect the pain to go away anytime soon either. There's lots of potential scenarios left to play out.

The possibilities include:

* They are forced to disable elements of their service

* They declare Chapter 11

* They give up and sell their subscriber list to a competitor

* A buyback of Vonage shares, followed by a major private equity investment that will take Vonage private.

Add all of the above to the Vonage reputation for abusing customers with non-existent customer service and over billing situations. Not a pretty picture.

The handwriting on the wall is that long overdue changes need to made in Vonage. These are fixes that current Vonage management seems incapable of executing. Or even realizing. If that is to happen it's likely somebody else will have to do it.

As always.... who will ended up paying the most in the end?

Current Vonage customers that's who. As if that should be a surprise.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Distance Restrictions In Rural Applications....DSL vs T1

Here's a question often asked by those in rural areas needing dedicated bandwidth for their network applications.

"If someone wanted to have a T-1 line (or fractional T-1) installed in a very rural location, are they subject to the same distance restrictions as a DSL line is?"

The general answer is no. T1's do not have maximum distance "limitation" as does DSL. Network carriers can use multiple T1 repeaters to regenerate (not just amplify) the T1 signal.

However, 2 distance "sensitive" components can increase T1 cost.

First, the T1 access loop. Most local exchange carriers (LECs) (e.g., AT&T/SBC/BellSouth, Qwest and Verizon) charge the ISP for T1 access based on distance between the ISP's router (Internet POP) and the customer's local serving exchange (LEC Central Office.) That is why most ISP's T1 quote tools require the customers local phone number, or at least the 1st 6-digits (NPA-NXX) which identify the local CO exchange, in order to caculate the distance to the ISP's closest IP POP (Internet router).

Second, extrordinary construction costs. If the customer location is a great distance from the closest T1-equipped LEC central office, then the LEC must install additional T1 repeaters and possibly incur other transmission equipment / construction costs to reach the customer. In this case, the LEC has 2 options to deal with construction cost: either absorb cost themselves, or pass it on to the ISP who then pass it on to the end-user customer. I've been implementing T1s for awhile and have seen this situation a few times. Twice the one-time construction costs were $10-$20K and the customer canceled the order. Once, BellSouth had to trench ~200 feet to lay new cable and they absorbed this cost.

Assuming no extrordinary construction cost, there are ISPs that offer flat rate Internet T1s for $750 per month, anywhere in US, with no distance limitations between ISP POP and customer's serving CO. The flat rate cost includes T1 access loop and 1.5 Mbps Internet port. In the majority of cases these aren't always the most reliable providers when you consider long term stability, QoS, and SLA though.

However, for most locatons that are under 25 miles to the ISP POP, we are seeing Internet T1 prices in the general range of $300-$500 per month +/-.

The upside is that it's full speed in both directions, and not subject to the EULA restrictions that DSL lines are. Typically, ISP's don't want you running services behind a DSL line, no such problem with the T1.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

DisneyPhone [Disney Mobile]....What Will They Think Of Next

Looks like the Mickey Mouse Nation has joined the ranks of the Broadband Nation. In fact Walt's (as in Walt Disney) favorite Steamboat Willie (Mickey's original name and title of the 1st "Mickey Mouse" cartoon) has jumped right into the middle of the cell phone wars. Step aside Verizon, T-Mobile, Cingular, and all you other usurpers! (LOL)

By clicking on “selecting other carriers” at THE WIRELESS STORE you can see the new, hot-selling Disney phone [It will say Disney Mobile]. This phone package is very popular for families as it offers a full menu of family-friendly options along with the Disney Name.

With Family Locator, parents can find and map the location of their child's phone right from your handset or from the Family Center section of the web site. Using the latest in GPS satellite technology, Family Locator tracks the location of their child's phone. Family Locator is a password-protected application and only adult family members have the ability to locate a child on the Family Plan.

Disney Zone houses fun and unique Disney applications. With the Radio Disney application, you can send shout-outs, view your Top 30 list and vote for your favorite song all from your Disney Mobile phone, without calling.

Vault Disney gives Disney Mobile subscribers exclusive access to Disney graphics, wallpapers and themes not available from any other wireless carrier.

Subscribers can use the Family Alert to send prioritized messages to one or more family members at once. From the everyday “Dinner’s at 7…” to more urgent messages like “Soccer practice cancelled, pick me up…”. Family Alert keeps everyone connected.

Family Monitor allows subscribers to set monthly spending allowances for voice, text & pix messages and content download for kids. Both the Family Manager and child will receive an alert right on their handset when a voice or message limit has been reached. At that time they can increase the limit, take no action, or restrict phone usage using Call Control from the Family Center section of the web site.

These are just a few of the great options for people with busy families. Be sure to check out all the pages to see what the DisneyPhone offers....and let people know about Mickey's great prices and services.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Packet8 Continues Customer Rebates

To help keep the momentum going into 2007, Packet8 has extended all their customer rebates through the end of this quarter – March 31st. Here are the highlights:


* $19.99 off the First Month is still in effect with your Coupon Code
* Free Activation AFTER $30 Mail-in Rebate
* Free Uniden 1868P AFTER $50 Mail-in Rebate
* Free Uniden 165P AFTER $30 Mail-in Rebate
* DV326 Videophone only $99 AFTER $100 Mail-in Rebate
* Please note that there is NO FREE SHIPPING on residential services

Also, Packet8 announced recently the thier new Residential Fax service. This capability has been a customer request for a long time. Below is a rundown on this long awaited service:

Packet8 is now offering residential fax service for customers. Subscribers receive 300 minutes of outgoing faxes plus unlimited incoming faxes for $9.99 per month with a one-time activation fee of $29.99. Additional US and Canada outgoing fax minutes are billed at 3.5 cents per minute, and outgoing international faxes billed at Packet8 International rates. The customer will receive a new Packet8 phone adapter with each Freedom Fax service plan.

To summarize:

* $9.99/month includes 300 outbound calling and faxing minutes to the US and Canada and 3.5 cents thereafter, plus applicable Packet8 International rates.
* $29.99 activation fee.
* $1.50 Regulatory Recovery Fee.
* $1.99 E911 Service Fee for US Residents.
* $0.80 Universal Service Fund Fee
* $12.95 Shipping Charges.

Current Limitations:

* For this service, Packet8 currently can NOT port existing numbers. It will be a brand new number.
* The rate center availability is more limited (2200 versus 7500+ for traditional residential service).
* It is a separate terminal adapter or DTA (currently free).

Many customers have been chomping at the bit for when Packet8 can be used for fax. Once they are aware that it exists now, I'd expect to see a run from existing customers to get it AND a stampede from others once they hear it's available.

To see for yourself and delve deeper into what Packet8 offers for broadband phone users click here: Packet8

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