Why do some people recommend buying business VoIP from an ISP? What are the benefits to my company? What are the costs?
As a long-time enterprise VoIP broker, I’ve noticed that many IT buyers are concerned about VoIP call quality more than anything else. And rightfully so.
Yet I’ve also found that many IT buyers are not aware that buying hosted VoIP from an ISP will significantly improve their company’s call quality.
When your company buys VoIP from an ISP, there are 2 ways it will improve your company’s call quality:
1. By Having a Dedicated VoIP Circuit
2. By Reducing Network Hops
What is a Dedicated VoIP Circuit?
If you are buying your company’s VoIP from an ISP, one option an ISP often has available is delivering a dedicated VoIP circuit to your building. All calls will travel to and from your cloud phone system across this circuit, never touching the public Internet.
The benefit: Guaranteed, land-line call quality.
The circuit can be whichever type of circuit is available and cost-effective at your company’s address, such as Fiber, Ethernet over Copper, T1 or Fixed Wireless. The ISP will also provide Internet on the circuit but will prioritize VoIP traffic, so that your company’s Internet usage will never interfere with your call quality.
Cost: Here’s the kicker… If your company currently has a dedicated Internet connection (i.e. Fiber, Ethernet over Copper, T1, Fixed Wireless, etc.), this option will cost around about the same as having a 3rd party VoIP provider deliver your company’s service over your current Internet connection. You are just replacing your company’s current dedicated Internet connection with the new connection from the VoIP provider.
Think about it… your company is still paying for the same two things: 1) VoIP; and 2) A dedicated Internet connection. Except now that both are from the same ISP, your company has guaranteed, land-line call quality. Easy decision.
If for some reason, a dedicated VoIP circuit is not an option, another wise alternative is to purchase your company’s hosted VoIP from your ISP, so that it will at least reduce the number of network hops that your phone calls experience, as they use the Internet to travel between your company’s location and your VoIP provider. Less hops means better call quality.
So before you go shopping for business VoIP, check to see if your company is stuck in a contract with your ISP for more than six months. If so, I’d recommend holding off on the VoIP project until those contracts are aligned.
Sure, signing up with a 3rd party VoIP provider still has it’s advantages, but why not have both options available?