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Glossary & Frequently Asked Questions - VoIP Solutions FAQ

FAQ Links:
Why should I consider VoIP Solutions?
How do you call 911?
What if the power goes out?
How much are the upfront costs?
Who regulates VoIP?
Is the voice quality as clear as a regular phone line?
Are my phone calls secure or can someone hack into a call?
Does VoIP servicerequire a special phone?
Can I have directory assistance with VoIP service?
If a co-worker is downloading music, will that affect the quality of my phone call?


Glossary Links:
Analog
Digital
Directory Assistance Service
FCC Consumer Advocacy
IP Telephony
Internet Telephony
IP-PBX
IP Communication
PBX - Private Branch eXchange
Voice over Internet
Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
Telecommunications


Why should I consider VoIP solutions?
VoIP solutions is the hot topic in the telecommunications industry. Some say it is the future of voice transmission. VoIP solutions can save money by reducing the number of lines and eliminating the need for a traditional PBX system. It is important to discuss your specific situation with a Business Telecom Consultant to evaluate your particular needs.

How do you call 911?
VoIP phones are not associated with a specific address, making it difficult for 911 operators to track your location. Many providers, however, understand this concern and are working with Public Safety Answering Point and the National Emergency Number Association to route calls appropriately. Discussing this predicament with a Telecom Consultant will assist you in uncovering how your potential plan deals with 911 access. Retaining one regular phone line might be wise in the event that your decided provider does not supply this emergency feature.


What if the power goes out?
VoIP systems require electrical power and your calling system will be down in the event of a power failure, if proper precautions are not in place. One option is to provide backup power for each VoIP phone, which can often last up to 24 hours. If you choose not to backup each phone, retaining one traditional line is wise, in the even of an emergency.

How much are the upfront costs?
Specific upfront costs depend on the telecommunications provider. However, upfront costs for VoIP are the most expensive aspect of the system. Month-to-month bills can be greatly reduced.

Who regulates VoIP solutions?
Currently, VoIP has no regulations as the FCC has qualified IP services as Internet-based. A broader investigation is currently underway to evaluate the increase in consumer interest in VoIP and how the FCC should respond in order to safeguard public interest. For more information, visit the FCC's VoIP website at www.fcc.gov/voip.


Is the voice quality as clear as a regular phone line?
Yes, the quality of VoIP solutions has dramatically improved. Providers can now support carrier-grade sound quality utilizing VoIP solutions. Previously, voice transmission via the Internet was scratchy and broken. Poor bandwidth and Internet congestion is responsible for poor sound quality. With new VoIP technology and increased bandwidth, however, a voice transmission now sounds as clear as a traditional analog phone line.

Are my phone calls secure or can someone hack into a call?
Many VoIP providers function on private networks that do not interact with the public Internet.

Does VoIP require a special phone?
Many VoIP solutions & systems do not require a special phone. Some can work on a regular, analog phone.

Can I have directory assistance with VoIP?
VoIP comes with many of the features of traditional phone service. Your specific provider and plan will affect your additional features.

If a co-worker is downloading music, will that affect the quality of my phone call?
You should work with a telecommunications specialist to size your required bandwidth. If you system is experiences unusually high data traffic, your voice quality might be affected.


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GLOSSARY
Some of this telecommunication jargon can be confusing. The following is a glossary of important terms.

Analog
The type of transmission used for voice by most telephone companies. This transmission over a long distance often amplifies the noise it picks up

Digital
This type of transmission uses binary code to send information and provides high quality over any distance.

Directory Assistance Service
Directory Assistance is a service that makes directory listing database information available to retail customers. There is usually a fee associated with this service.

FCC
This government agency regulates radio, television, wire, cable and satellite communication.

IP Telephony
See Voice over Internet Protocol

Internet Telephony
See Voice over Internet Protocol

IP-PBX
See Voice over Internet Protocol

IP Communication
See Voice over Internet Protocol

PBX - Private Branch eXchange
This system is a smaller version of the local phone company's central office. It is the system that operates an office's phone system - voicemail, extensions, caller ID, call forwarding and other features.

Voice over Internet
See Voice over Internet Protocol


Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
This technology transmits voice data over a data network. This enables data information and voice information to be transmitted over a single line.

Telecommunications
Any transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems.

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