Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Phone & Internet – getting connected

Two critical tools in today’s environment certainly as a consultant is your phone(s) and internet connection. The internet connection becomes especially important if you are using IP phones for at least some of your communications and this is the case with myself as I have once again got a Vonage phone as the most economic alternative to providing long distance and fax coverage.
The only choice I have for reliable Internet in Wainwright is Telus. However, as we all know “Business line” service is expensive and this is no exception and because I will have to pay for every long distance call on this number the Telus line will be for just that, local and incoming calls.
Now that the “provider” has been selected comes the topic of Contract terms. The folks tell me the only way rates go is up so it is better to freeze in rates for as long as you can (maximum term) but the risk is you cannot cancel early without paying some pretty steep penalties so like anything read the fine print.
Server Elite bundle or Managed services with a price tag difference of $50/month. So what do I get that is useful to me now for the extra money? Increased bandwidth (6 versus 4 Mbits and “no maximum” per month at least per the advertising but the contract has an actual value, guaranteed connectivity (managed means TELUS pings my modem every 30 seconds to make sure its working), 4 port router, and static IP addresses. Even though I am within a block of the main TELUS exchange in town the guarantee service is especially important to me in a rural location because even though my house is 2 blocks the other side of the exchange I have had the occasional dropped modem where I had to do a hard reset to reconnect. My daughter in Provost an hour away experiences “dropped connections” quite regularly – very frustrating in the middle of a file download or security update. Managed service needs to be ordered 4-6 weeks in advance though you do get provided an interim “regular” service to get you up and running.
People will likely wonder what is going on when they come to my office as I will have at least 2 phones on my desk plus a cell – definitely connected.

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