There are many choices available to businesses when it comes to long distance telephone service. It seems there are lots of deals and package plans which can make it hard to make a decision. Here are some guidelines to consider when choosing long distance for your business.Research
Do your homework to determine the average amount of long distance calls that are made each month. You can find this information on your telephone bills from your current provider. Figure out the amount you currently pay for your company’s long distance service. If you have trouble or if the bill is not detailed check with your vendor for more in depth information. Then think about peak times of the year to ensure that you have taken your long distance needs into consideration.PricePrice is a number one consideration when it comes to telco services. When shopping for long distance find out the bottom line costs. You also need to consider line lease fees as well as any installation costs. In order to compare properly you will need to ensure that you are looking at all services equally. Sometimes this can be difficult because of package deals that don’t break out pricing. Anticipate growth and peak service levels but don’t go over by more than 10% or you may not realize any potential savings.Types of Service
If your company has over 50 employees or is phone intensive you may be able to save money by getting a T-1 line. A T-1 is a dedicated high-speed circuit that consists of 24 channels. The channels are flexible and can be used for incoming and outgoing calling as well as data. Each T-1 circuit can accommodate between 50 and 100 average telephone users. A T1 transmits data at speeds up to 1.544 Mbps. This is substantially faster than standard modems. For larger businesses there are larger and faster lines available such as a T3. If you want to use the lines for data or network connection be sure to take this into account when shopping for service. Some lines are not fast enough to accommodate video or large applications.ReliabilityAnother consideration for long distance business service is reliability. Unreliable service can lose business and make the company appear unprofessional. Make sure that the service you choose is dependable. A T1 is very reliable and if there are problems they are often easily resolved remotely at the central office. Because the features are coming from your own telephone system you can be sure of clear, crisp voice service. You can additionally ensure service by keeping several traditional lines.FlexibilityBe sure that you have the flexibility you need when choosing a long distance service. Find out the length of the agreement you will have and be sure to allow for any anticipated growth or changes in service. Find out the costs involved for any service changes and the time frame for changes to be made.ServiceConsider the costs of service plans for your telco services. Some service plans specify remote service only while others may have costs for on-premise service calls if needed. Some service plans charge additional costs for after hours service. If your business is operational outside of these hours consider opting for a plan that covers these hours. Some services, such as most T1 lines, come with standard service coverage.ProvidersThere are many long distance providers available. If you understand your basic long distance needs before shopping you can easily avoid any plans or packages that won’t work for your company. Then, compare your options and make the decision that works best for you. Savings that you will see throughout the life of the circuits may offset installation costs. This can be particularly true with T1 lines since prices have been trending downward where some businesses are seeing cost savings within a few months and thousands of dollars of savings a year.
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