Posts Tagged ‘Session Initiation Protocol’

E-rate: A Federal Program for Schools and Libraries

Friday, October 6th, 2017

 

ClassroomNow that school is back in session, it may be time to evaluate the technology that supports your school or library. Implementing and maintaining phone and computer systems can be expensive, so we wanted to make you aware of a program that may be able to assist you with your technology costs.

 

E-rate is a federal program that helps to make telecommunications and information services more affordable for eligible schools and libraries across the country. Schools must meet the statutory definition of elementary and secondary schools found in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Libraries must meet the statutory definition of library or library consortium found in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) (Pub. L. 104-208) and must be eligible for assistance from a state library administrative agency under that Act.

 

Mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1997, E-rate is funded by the Universal Service Fund and provides discounts for Wi-Fi, high-speed broadband and telecommunications services to eligible schools and libraries. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is a not-for-profit corporation designated by the FCC to administer the $10 billion Universal Service Fund.

 

If your school or library would like to participate in E-rate, here are the four steps in the process:

 

  1. Request bids for service
  2. Apply for funding
  3. Start receiving services
  4. Invoice USAC

 

You can begin this process by submitting FCC Form 470, which must be filed online in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). This form must be posted on the USAC website for a minimum of 28 days, known as the competitive bidding period. This is a formal process to identify and request the products and services you need so that potential service providers can review your requests online and submit bids for your consideration.

 

Teltek is a registered E-rate Vendor and our Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) is 830717. We have access to nearly all of the telecommunications E-rate carriers throughout the country, which allows us to gather multiple quotes from these carriers and present them to you in an easy-to-read spreadsheet.

 

If you are interested in switching the copper phone lines in your school or library to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking, our new SIP service is an eligible service under the E-rate program! To learn more about E-rate and Teltek’s role in this program, please visit our E-rate page.

 

Which Type of Phone Service Is Best for Your Business?

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

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You have several options when selecting a phone service and there are a few things you should know about each type of service in order to make an educated decision. Let us help by defining each of these options and comparing them to each other, so you can choose wisely.

 

POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) is the original phone service delivered over copper wires using analog transmission from a customer’s location to the phone company’s central office. POTS was the standard service provided by telephone companies from 1876 until 1988. 

 

PRI (Primary Rate Interface) was first introduced in 1988 and is still popular with traditional service providers. Until recently, it was the standard for providing telecommunication services to businesses.

 

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is an alternative to PRI and POTS. SIP utilizes a network connection to run voice traffic over the same lines used for internet and email functions and it has been commercially available since the early 2000s

 

Many phone systems today still use POTS or PRI. SIP Trunking and PRI circuits are both technologies used to connect a business phone system to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). SIP supports communication over the internet and PRIs are circuit switched and used primarily as a dedicated phone line to connect directly to the PSTN.

 

Quality

The benefit of a PRI is that there is a dedicated line to carry each phone call, but since PRI and POTS lines are both limited by their bandwidth, SIP provides a higher-quality connection.

 

SIP Trunking is a packet-based solution, which means phone calls are sent real-time in small packets across the internet. Although data packet loss is possible, this can be mitigated by assigning a higher priority to voice traffic over data packets. Also, the quality of internet connection has greatly improved over recent years and many providers offer reliability and low latency guarantees.

 

Cost

Since SIP Trunks are virtual channels, all you need is a reliable internet connection with enough bandwidth to handle your data and phone call volume. Without the extra hardware needed with a PRI, you will save money on installation and maintenance. This makes SIP a more cost-effective option.

 

Scaling a SIP system is also less expensive than scaling a PRI. If you want to increase the size of your system, a PRI requires that you do this in increments of 23 channels and on-site work is needed. SIP trunks are sold individually on an as-needed basis and it’s simple to add more channels.

 

Reliability

The primary concern with POTS is that certain carriers have stopped repairing these lines and may not support POTS customers in the near future. In the event of a power outage or internet failure, SIP trunk calls can be automatically re-routed to an alternate office location or to mobile devices to prevent costly downtime. Additionally, a company can elect to have redundant internet services at their place of business, enabling SIP trunks to have multiple pathways, which limits downtime.

 

Still have questions about which service will best suit your needs? Call Teltek today at 1-866-9-TELTEK or 410-552-6580.

 

Consider SIP Trunking for More Affordable and Reliable Communication

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

 

What is SIP Trunking?

 

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking is a telecommunications technique made possible with VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone systems. SIP trunking provides a virtual connection over the internet, unlike traditional phone systems, which are physically connected to a phone company through landline telephone lines. Although multiple lines are shared, call volume is increased and each user can still have a direct inward dialing (DID) line. Also, DID lines are less expensive when purchased with a SIP Trunk.

 

Three Benefits of SIP Trunking

 

SIP trunking provides a flexible, cost-effective and reliable solution to suit your communication needs. Among this technique’s many advantages are:

 

  1. Scalability. Standard PRIs are sold in groups of 23 channels, but SIP trunks are sold individually on an as-needed basis. As your business grows, simply add more channels. Additionally, a business can buy more DID numbers than SIP trunks. This provides a low-cost way for a business to allocate private incoming numbers to each employee without having to pay for a dedicated line or SIP trunk for each.

 

  1. Affordability. Calls made through SIP trunking travel primarily over the internet and not through landline telephone lines, which substantially reduces or eliminates long-distance charges.

 

  1. Reliability. In the event of a power outage, SIP calls can automatically be re-routed to an alternate office location or mobile devices. Also, a company can elect to have redundant internet services at their place of business enabling SIP trunks to have multiple pathways limiting costly downtime.

 

Make the move to SIP trunking today!