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Posted on 2010-09-19
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Let me give the scenario first and then I will ask my question.
Eureka is a telephone and internet based concierge service that specilizes in obtaining things that are hard to find (e.g super Bowl tickets, first-edition books from the 1500s, Faberge eggs). It currently employs 60 staff members who collectively provide 24-hour coverage (over three shifts). They answer the phones and respond to requests enterned on the Eureka! web site. Much of their work is spent on the phone and on computers searching on the internet. What type connections should Eureka consider from its office to the outside world, in terms of phone and internet? Outline the pros and cons of each alternative below make a recommendation. The company has the  below alternative;

1 Should the company use standard voice lines but use DSL for its data ($40 per month per line for both services)?
 
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Question by:snhandle
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 33713254
Could you let us know what this is for?  It sounds like a class room assignment.
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Author Comment

by:snhandle
ID: 33713293
actually it is a discussion queston for me that I will talk about.
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by:giltjr
ID: 33713321
The answer is, it depends.

How important is it to have voice services if Internet is down?

How reliable is the DSL service?

Although it could be possible it is very doubt full that voice would be down and DSL up.  I've had DSL for 5+ years now and I have had many DSL outages while voice was still up.  I have NEVER had voice out and DSL up.

If you go with DSL only, when it is down, you have lost everything.

With traditional voice and DSL you would still have voice if DSL is out.
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jetpowercom earned 2000 total points
ID: 33714251
Based on your statement "its office" and your statement "$40 per month per line," I'm going to assume a single physical location and fifteen phone lines for the sake of making my primary recommendation:  

Voice communication (in the US) is held to a higher performance standard than is data (You may be in Canada, where all standards are high!).  As giltjr suggests, your voice service is unlikely ever to go down.  DSL, however, is less reliable.  This is why I recommend a second, "failover" DSL line - from a different vendor, configured to take over automatically if the first line ever goes down.  With such a system, your clients (who, based on the products you mention, expect seamless service) will never hear "I'll have to call you back with an answer, because our internet is down right now."  

This said, my own DSL experience, with multiple corporate and home-office providers, has been good, because of careful choices and good fortune.   It sounds like you may be reviewing a voice/data package.  A single point of failure is something we try to avoid in the connectivity business.  I recommend paying a bit more to obtain voice and data from separate providers (or getting the shortest-term plan at the outset, and planning to spread your risk as soon as possible).  

Based on a cost projection of $600/month ($40 x 15 lines), you may want to consider a T1 line rather than DSL.  The technical infrastructure of T1 is more reliable.  Also, unless your DSL is very fast, T1 will provide faster internet performance.  This said, my estimated numbers here may be quite different from your budget, making these last comments moot.

Hope this helps!
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 33715334
I agree with jetpowercom's comments and will and a few more of my own.

You may want to look at the price of voice only lines vs. voice+dsl.  You really should not need a DSL line for each person on a shift.

A voice line for each person, maybe, but you should not need 15-20 DSL connections.  One should do you fine, maybe two.  A voice only line may only be $20-$30 per month.  I'm not sure where you are getting your costs, but I know I pay way more than $40 for voice+DSL service, my DSL service is $40 alone.

Going along the T1 path, you could get two T1's.  Once for voice (gives up to 24 voice lines) and one for Internet.  Depending on your location a T1 may give you more speed than a DSL link and (as jetpowercom stated) typically much better reliability.
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Expert Comment

by:hes
ID: 33716395
This is a test case in teh book
Business Data Communications and Networking By Jerry FitzGerald, Alan Dennis
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Author Closing Comment

by:snhandle
ID: 33749012
Good Job
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