phone and internet installationIf you’re establishing new business phone and internet services, moving your business or considering changing providers, there are some tasks that need to be completed before and during your installation.

The following is a list of items you should be aware of and steps you should take to prepare yourself for the installation of your new services: 

How are you receiving voicemail?  Is your voicemail a feature of your phone system or is it being delivered by your phone service provider?  Most providers assume that a customer with a phone system is receiving voicemail from that system, but if a company is receiving the service from their current phone company, voicemail will need to be added to the order or it won’t be available when the installation is completed.

What kind of handoff does your phone system require? – Analog or digital? SIP or TDM?  Do you have a T1 card?  These are all questions that need to be answered before you proceed with a service order.  It’s important to order the correct service, one that is compatible with your phone equipment.

Notify your property manager- Sometimes techs arrive unannounced or are from a company that hasn’t yet serviced your building.  It’s important to notify your property manager and let that person know what your plans are.  Many properties require access agreements to be completed before they’ll allow a new carrier in their buildings.   Also, most telco rooms are locked; better to make arrangements ahead of time than to have technicians sitting around waiting for someone to chase down a key.

Don’t turn away the phone company – If you ordered a T1, integrated T1 or PRI, a local phone company (AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink) provides the local loop.  Your carrier utilizes the phone company’s local loop to deliver their service.  It could be confusing if you ordered service from a different provider and a local phone company tech shows up, but if you send them away you’ll delay the order process.

Ditch your fax – There’s no better time to ditch your fax machine then when you’re changing providers, moving or implementing new service.  eFax services can make your existing fax number an eFax number.  All your faxes will go to your email.  No need to purchase fax paper and ink.  No worry about whether or not your new phone service is compatible with faxing.  No more $40 dollar a month phone line charges.

Schedule time with your phone and IT vendors – You want your phone and IT vendors present at installation time.  The phone vendor needs to connect your new carrier’s service to your phone system.  Your IT vendor will need to connect your new internet connection to your computer network.  Trouble here is, your new phone company will offer you a four-hour time window for installation.  It’s also possible that your installation will be postponed.  It can be difficult to coordinate all the involved parties.  You need your vendors present but you don’t want to pay them to sit around waiting for your carrier’s technician.  Requesting to have the installation technician to call before going is your best option.

Phone Vendor Responsibilities: 

Extend the demarc – The demarc is located somewhere in an office building and is where all the telco companies terminate their service.  Extending the demarc involves creating a connection from the demarc to the location where your phone equipment is located, typically a phone closet or computer room.  Extending the demarc is the customer’s responsibility and is usually performed by their phone vendor.

Complete the Cross Connect – The phone service provider’s technician installs his or her company’s network in your phone closet.  From that point, a connection needs to be made to your phone system.  That’s called the cross connect.  The provider’s tech won’t touch your phone system, so your phone vendor needs to complete this portion of the installation.

IT Vendors need to: 

Connect the carrier’s router to your computer network.  Who’s supplying the firewall, your Internet Service Provider or do you have one already installed as part of your computer network.  If you’re receiving this service from your service provider, is there a related monthly service charge?  It’s almost always less expensive to purchase a piece of equipment than to incur a monthly service charge.  Your IT vendor can help you with the firewall and connect your new internet circuit to your computer network.

If you’re considering new phone and internet services it’s important to know everything that needs to be completed, and by who, before you sign an agreement.  If you need help with this process, contact CarrierBid telecom consulting today.    

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