Telecom companies provide vital services that enable communication across the world. As a result, many customers rely heavily on these services, whether for personal or professional reasons. However, due to the complexity of the telecom industry, customers often have a lot of telecom questions in mind about the services provided, billing practices, network coverage, and more.

9 Telecom Questions of Customers

Find below 9 top telecom questions of Customers and their answers:

1. Why can’t I get DSL or Cable?

Why my business can’t get DSL or Cable Internet? This happens for completely separate reasons. With cable, your business is either on the cable company’s network or it’s not. If you’re on, you can get service. If not, the cable company will need to extend their fiber or coax network to service your business. They’ll do that if they can justify the required construction costs. They follow a formula that takes into account the amount of service ordered and the contract term. They need to achieve a certain Return on Investment (ROI) to sanction the build. If you’re residing in a multi tenant structure, there is more speculation involved, so it can be easier to have the construction approved.

Nearly every business is connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), so if you can’t receive DSL, it has to be for another reason. It could be because your office is too far from the local company’s wire center (where your phone lines originate) or you’re too far from the nearest fiber pedistal; or the lines that lead up to your location have been multiplied too many times; or the lines that service your location are old and need to be replaced; or there is no DSLAM (piece of equipment that creates DSL internet connections) in the wire center that services your area.

2. I’m still under contract, what options do I have? 

If you’re willing to stay with the same provider, you typically can do anything but downgrade your service without penalty. If you are within a six-month window of your expiration date and willing to extend your term, you can typically reduce your service and costs without penalty.

3. What happens if I terminate my contract before term? 

If you’re contracted with your local phone company, early termination liability (the penalty you pay to terminate your contract prematurely) is typically the number of months you have remaining on your agreement multiplied by the monthly cost of your subscribed services. So, there may be no benefit in terminating early–but it does depend upon the provider for your area. With the local phone company, there are some services that have a predetermined early termination liability that is usually less than what you would pay if you retained the service.

4. Why isn’t VoIP free? 

Emails are free. Downloading is free. Why isn’t VoIP free? Actually, email accounts aren’t free (at least business email accounts) and you need the voice equivalent of an email account to receive and place calls over the internet. VoIP is more complicated than email and phone calls typically need to terminate on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – so other companies are involved – who expect to be paid. Learn more about the pros and cons of VoIP.

5. I’m moving, why can’t I keep my phone number? 

9 out of 10 times you should be able to, no matter the distance or carrier. This is a problem best solved by a telecom consultant. The average carrier rep will be too happy to say “sorry” and leave it at that.

6. I’m a small business, what should I consider that I haven’t in the past? 

More Bandwidth. The cost of telecom voice and data services have dropped considerably. A business could easily add bandwidth and stay at or even reduce its monthly costs. If you have DSL from the phone company, consider replacing that with a cable internet connection instead. If you have a T1, you’ll definitely get more bandwidth by going with ethernet services.

7. Why is intrastate long distance more expensive than interstate?

Intrastate long distance originates and terminates in the same state, while interstate long distance originates in one state and terminates in another. When AT&T was the only game in town, long distance was priced by distance. A long distance call from Philadelphia to Phoenix was more expensive than a long distance call from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., for instance. That sort of pricing stayed in effect even after there was competition in the industry because the longer distance a call traveled the more network it required. Then the internet came around and Voice over IP brought down the cost to transmit long distance calls. But long distance calls need to start and end somewhere.

A portion of the cost of every long distance call goes to the origination and termination fees local phone companies charge. Most states have one local phone company. Most local phone companies sell long distance. So part of the reason intrastate long distance is more expensive is because the intrastate long distance marketplace is more monopolistic than the interstate version. The other reason is that some states enforce lower termination rates and a long distance company with millions of customers can count on a variety of places being called and can average out the cost of each long distance call.

8. How are free conferencing services free?

There are some pockets of the country that are serviced by small phone companies. These companies make a good portion of their revenue charging very high termination rates. The more calls that are terminated on their network the more money they make, so they make deals with “free” voice conferencing companies. Those companies locate their conference bridging equipment in areas serviced by the small phone companies. They advertise and setup affiliate marketing programs to drive calls to their service and then share a portion of the termination fees generated.

9. How are local phone companies able to offer unlimited long distance?

The same way a long distance provider averages out the cost of a minute of long distance. Local phone companies that provide unlimited long distance average out the calling habits of all their customers. Some people place a lot of long distance calls, some hardly ever make a long distance call. The people who don’t make many long distance calls help pay for all the “free” long distance heavy users are gobbling up; the more customers on the plan the better. That’s why many cable companies only offer unlimited long distance packages. Local phone companies are more regulated and are required to offer lines without unlimited long distance. So they incent their sales reps to sell unlimited long distance. As long as the majority of their customers are signed up for the plan, everything will even out and unlimited long distance will remain a profitable offering.

If your company is stuck in a bad contract, can’t get the bandwidth you need or you’re moving? Please contact CarrierBid today or complete the form on the bottom of this page and we’ll find solutions in our extensive portfolio.

CarrierBid helps businesses save time and money when shopping for phone and internet service. If you would like our help, please contact us today or complete the form on the right side of this page.

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