We need at least T1 bandwidth / reliability to start out. We're in an area where the telco has exclusive territory, making it cost prohibitive to seek other providers due to the incumbent having inflated prices to compensate for the backhaul. Let us briefly visit the George Carlin skit, about "servicing the account...".
What We Need:
Data: T1 minimum, but this will have to be written into a scalable contract so we can upgrade within said contract.
Voice: 3 inbound lines from CO. (Voice / Voice #2 / FAX)
Hostage Negotiation Plans:
Here is what the Telco / ISP said they can offer us. I have very limited knowledge on this topic, which will soon become painfully clear *grin*. For our initial budget, they offered these two packages:
A). T1 data line
-NO SLA except to acknowledge that the data rate is burstable "up to" 1.54 mb/s
-No indication on whether they provide the router or not. I think this might be a "managed" package.
-$250 Setup / Install
-$550 / MO.
-$135 for 3 CO analog for our voice needs ($45 / MO. per line)
Total: $685 / MO. + One-time Setup
B). T1 Integrated Data / VoiceIP
-AGAIN, NO SLA except to say "we guarantee you can burst to 1.54mb/s"
-Cisco 1700 series, managed.
-VoIP phone stations / hardware included (10 mitel phones)
*system is configurable with options like auto attendant, Hunt, Group, CallerID, forwarding, etc.
-Configured for high quality voice, so the compression is at 80k per phone session / instance.
-$250 Setup / Install
-$595 / MO.
TOTAL: $595 + One-time setup
We're going to see a big savings on plan B and they said we'd be happy with the VoIP telecom solution. The biggest fear I have is not knowing about the data stability. They said their CO is outfitted with a 20megabit pipe to serve the entire zone. This seems like it would be easily saturated, even though they say it is at %50 during high traffic times. That is the reason cited for not offering ANY SLA except for guaranteeing that we'll burst to 1.544mb/s and then hit our head on that ceiling.
We will be serving a growing number of domain instances that primarily focus on HTTP traffic. Since this is a private "datacenter" (and I use the term loosely), we will be able to expand our pipes to satisfy demand (fiber is already in the ground). As the client expands, we will grow with them.
Our Telecom requirements should not observe any appreciable change in 1-2 years.
It's Time To Choose, Mr. Freeman:
Since we have no other recognizable option for bandwidth / broadband providers, we have to make a decision...
Based on the specs for Plan B, it seems the obvious choice. Yes? What are the pro's and con's of a Telecom / Datacom package like this? Keep in mind our biggest objective it to maintain a QoS that favors the data side.
Plan A would be more money per month, but is this the better choice in terms of the *Type* of T1 they would use, for what our datacom needs are?
The sales person seems to know very little about the technology beyond fundamental basics. On the contrary, I know very little, too... So what questions should I ask that haven't been addressed? Are there tricks used by the telco to rope me into a contract that might under / over sell me?
Any feedback from personal experience with this type of situation would be greatly appreciated, and could possibly earn a beer on top of the points. =D
Thanks a bunch!
PS- I searched here several times producing some valid hits, but most were 8+ months old. At the risk of redundancy in the forums, I elected to post this in case something major (technically) has changed.