Prices Continue to Come Down on Integrated Products
Wednesday July 23, 2014,
02:27 am ET
DRAPER, Utah, Jul. 23 /Patrick Oborn/ --
The digital universe, and the way people connect to it, is changing. Small businesses, in
particular, are discovering new high-speed Internet and telecom options that are now
squarely within their budgets. Through a myriad of mergers and acquisitions, telecommunication
providers have greatly enhanced their integrated T1 products with features that businesses
can't live without, all while dropping the price to about half of what they were just
two years ago.
One might think that, given the cost - benefit analysis of the integrated T1 value
proposition, more businesses would be changing over to the new platform. However,
the rate of adaptation is rather slow. Rob Butler, head of the Telecommunications
Research Institute, thinks that "phone companies have a problem with trust amongst
their user base. For many years, customers have dealt with increasing rates, long
hold times, and frustration in general. Now, it appears, the ice is finally starting
to melt and customers are opening themselves up to new technology.
Prior to the advent of the "all digital" integrated T-1 in 2005, customers only had
one choice when it came to dedicated service: analog trunks (24 line bundles).
Not only where analog trunks expensive - the average cost ranging from $800 to
$1500 per month depending on the user's geographic proximity to the LECs point
of presence - they could not re-allocate unused voice channels to carry data.
Digital trunks, on the other hand, can reclaim voice lines not in use and put
them to work carrying high-speed data packets. That means users enjoy the full
1.5 Mbps of broadband when they are not on the phone.
"Commercial telecommunication providers were never on my Christmas card list"
commented Jake Chang, a small business owner in Denver, Colorado. "Dealing with them
meant erroneous bills, long wait times when trying to reach customer service, and
taxes I could never understand. Now that we migrated to a dynamic integrated
T1, my phone lines and high speed internet are bundled into one line with super
reliability. Not to mention the fact that XO Communications, a CLEC, treats me
like they actually want my business - not like I'm a pain in the you-know-what."
The only thing that can get in the way of future progress is the law. You know, the one
that requires the RBOCs to lease their local loops to CLECs at a reduced rate so that
the customer can get a dedicated connection between their office and the CLECs' network.
If the FCC decided to lift this requirement, this whole deck of cards could come down
in a hurry, and when it does, you can kiss dynamic integrated T1 service for under $500
Evolution has lead to a better, cheaper alternative to TDM services that the Bells were
peddling for decades in a vacuum of competition. Now the industry, lead by the innovation
and great business practices of the CLECs, seems to have turned a corner - leaving the
incumbents playing catchup. Obviously, the main benefactor of all of this competition
is the small to medium size business - a segment of the market that was taken for granted