Matt Liotta wrote:
Perhaps we have a disconnect. I am advocating that the business
continue to use ILEC or CLEC lines for their fax services.
I'm not managing the backend for the fax lines for the customers that I
am talking about. A large business in my area, is 10 or more
employees. This is a very rural area, but with many of the same needs
as a larger business. Having a separate bill for the fax line is not a
big deal to them.
If you keep a single POTS line for faxing, how do you manage the
backend? You are going to get the line billed separately from your
VoIP provider and you won't be able to share long distance or
international across the two. Most customers expect to have their
minutes pooled across both their fax and voice lines. Then you have
the other problem of 911, which is that your solution is NOT compliant
with the FCC's requirements for VoIP carriers. Let's not forget about
trying to get the customer's voice and fax DIDs in the same block when
they need to be spread across VoIP and POTS.
You are right, this solution is not 911 compliant. Neither is service
from Nufone, Teliax, Voipjet, Stanaphone or hundreds of other VOIP
carriers out there. The question of the degree of 911 compliance is
very much up in the air right now because the FCC's requirement is
basically unenforceable. Skype is not compliant, and yet there are
millions of people on their service. As far as I'm concerned, all of
the hoopla around 911 compliance is BS that is out there to scare people
out of the voip business and tie up the resources of the people who are
in it. The model I put together never touches the PSTN, it is purely
data - no different than Skype or MSN messenger with voice enabled or
Xbox live with players talking to each other. The distinction of what
consitutes "911 capable phone service over IP" has not been made yet
and will not be made for some time.
Tying up valuable financial resources into an early stage market like
this and expecting to make a large committment without guaranteed
revenue possibilities is insanity. Committments also reduce
flexibility, and that is a key to the success of the small ISP/WISP
operator. If someone comes out with .5 cents a minute or lower
termination for low volumes, I will be able to switch my outbound
service to that provider with a couple of configuration changes. You
are going to be stuck with your committment, and if they can't deliver
the same thing you will be out of luck. It's like signing a four year
contract for Internet backbone at todays rates. The people who did that
in 2003 are now paying twice as much for bandwidth as people who didn't
sign long term contracts and maintained their flexibility.
Almost anything worth doing requires a real commitment. If you aren't
willing to make a real commitment and the margins aren't that exciting
without a commitment then it probably isn't worth the time.
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