Flexible Products, Lower Prices
Friday June 13, 2014,
07:40 am ET
CEDAR HILLS, Utah, Jun. 13 /Patrick Oborn/ --
Is there a resurgence in the popularity of telecommunications providers that compares with
the late 1990's? The answer may surprise you. Since the crash of the Internet bubble,
struggling telecoms have seen Darwin in action as many companies were forced with the
choice of bankruptcy or forced consolidation. However, some companies chose the road less
traveled: innovation. By offering customers more for less, many small to medium size
business customers are finding that they can upgrade to integrated T1 service for the
same cost of five regular phone lines.
The same basic economic model described in the book "Blue Ocean Strategies" is now being
applied to telecommunication services being offered to small businesses across the country:
more value for less money. According to many industry watch dogs, hundreds of thousands
of business will dump their POTs lines in favor of dynamic integrated T1 service within
the next 12 to 24 months, saving money in the process. With the introduction
of sub-$475 dynamic integrated T-service, customers are now able to receive up to 1.5 MBPS
of high-speed Internet with 24 digital phone lines all on one line, for less than what they
pay now for 5 regular phone lines" Stallions continued.
New Hampshire, ordinarily not known for its telecom prowace, has been a hotbed
for businesses making the move to dynamic telecom lines. One local business
owner - Linda Peterson - who operates a travel agency, recently told us that
"I never expected the phone company to come out with anything that would
help me lower my costs. On the contrary. Ma Bell has had a history of raising
my rates and making my life difficult. When I heard about the XO Flex package
(offering 10 dynamic voice lines and 1.5 mbps of high speed Internet) at a price
of under $500, I couldn't move over fast enough." Since then Linda reported
a $150/month savings in her telecom expenses.
The Integrated T1 line has two general flavors; analog and, of course, digital.
The term "trunk" is synonymous with an integrated T1 line, representing 24
bundled DS0 (regular 64KB) channels. Digital trunks form the basis technology
for dynamic integrated lines, which are capable of transporting digitized
versions of voice traffic in addition to regular data packets. This ability
of digital trunks to function in the data realm allows it the ability to
dynamically allocate traffic according to the application, allowing priority
for voice traffic and "re-claiming" that bandwidth for data transfer when the
phone call is completed. This ensures that none of the capacity of the
T1 line is ever wasted.
CLECs are continuing to find new and loyal customers in the small business space, but
for how long will this trend continue? Will the RBOCs ever be able to give them a fight
on a level playing field? Only the FCC knows that answer to that question - all we can
do is be thankful for the past 12 years of progress and hope we never return to the
pre-1996 era of Telecommunications.
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