All About I.T – By Graham East
Our old phone network is gone. With the majority of Armidale homes and businesses now connected to the NBN and with the looming disconnection of the traditional copper network our community is in the process of migrating its phones to the NBN.
Change is upon us
For over 100 years our homes and businesses have been connected to the world by the copper wires that have given us the telephone. Now with the NBN it is all changing. No longer will the sound waves of our voices be turned into electrical impulses and sent down the phone line. Instead the things we have to say are converted to a digital signal and transmitted by the NBN. Just as the old technology revolutionised the lives of our forebears today’s digital telephony will change the way we communicate.
The NBN uses a technology known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to transmit sound. Many of us have been using VoIP for years as part of Skype and other computer based telephony services and some businesses have been early adopters but the move to VoIP for home and business phones on mass is very new to our community.
How it works in practice
If you are using your old phone with an NBN connection your phone provider may have supplied you with an ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter) into which you plug your phone and thence into your Router, or depending on your provider you may be able to plug it directly into the UNI-V port on the NBN Network Termination Device. These devices convert the analogue signal from your phone into a digital signal for the NBN. This means that you can continue to use your existing phone with the new service.
Some providers will supply you with a new phone specifically configured to their service. To fully understand the capabilities of your NBN telephony installation you will need to talk to your provider.
What does this change mean for me?
Once you are connected to the NBN you can continue to use your phone as you always did but there are many benefits that you may not be aware of.
Your phone bill should reduce as you are making phone calls through the Internet. If you have not seen a substantial reduction in your phone bill then you should contact ITAlive and talk with one of our consultants regarding ways we may assist. This is particularly the case for business owners.
Your call quality should improve. Unlike Skype and older VoIP systems that used high levels of compression that made callers sound like a robot under water, modern IP phone systems use advanced technology to provide voice quality that is comparable to or better than the regular telephone. This quality doesn’t degrade like it did where some users had old or poor condition copper wires or were a long way from the exchange.
Theoretically your telephone together with its ATA is now portable. Depending on your service provider you may be able to move it to another location, connect it to the Internet and have it work.
How are businesses affected?
Now that phones are connected to the Internet via the NBN it is possible to externalise (make Cloud based) much of the expensive hardware that was associated with PBX multi-line phone systems further reducing the cost of business telephony. Phones that are part of a proper VoIP business system now don’t have to be connected by special cables. They can be plugged into any Internet connection anywhere. This means that staff can work from home or even overseas and, if they take one of the handsets from a modern IP based phone system with them they can be part of the office phone network. It is also easy to add or remove phones, configure services and even twin mobiles and desk phones together.
Old business phone systems will always be subpar
If your NBN business phone solution simply plugs your old PBX into the NBN via an ATA or VoIP Gateway then you will not get all of these amazing new benefits and flexibility and you may not see the full cost reductions that are possible.
How can ITAlive help?
We are experienced in solving VoIP and NBN connection problems and have a range of business NBN VoIP phone plans that can greatly reduce your costs and increase your flexibility and productivity. Call one of our consultants on 02 6771 1055 today and talk to us about ways we can boost the efficiency of your business.