Telecoms for Competitive Advantage

2. Getting Online

Internet access is essential for businesses. High-speed connections are widely available and affordable.

2.1 ADSL is the cheapest way to connect your business to the internet.

  • It uses your existing telephone line to connect to the internet.
  • The connection is always on. Voice calls can be made simultaneously.
  • Charges are fixed, usually on a monthly basis, although you can make a saving by paying up-front annually.
  • Service is available across most of the UK, but the speed of your connection may be restricted by your proximity to the local telephone exchange.
  • A range of data transfer speeds, with different prices, are available.
  • A single ADSL connection can easily be shared between several users.
  • ADSL is generally a very cost-effective way to connect to the internet, and more than adequate for most small businesses.

2.2 Leased lines are permanently open, dedicated digital connections, used only by your business.

  • A leased line provides the best connection if you need a permanent link between two offices, or if your business has a large number of internet users.
  • Leased lines are usually backed by comprehensive support and a guaranteed response time if the connection fails.
  • Leased lines are much more expensive than ADSL connections and require specialist installation.
  • They are useful in situations where internet access is absolutely critical.

2.3 Once connected to the internet, IP telephony means that your IT network can be used to handle voice as well as data.

  • You do not need to have IT resources in-house to unlock the benefits. It is cheap to set up and the benefits can be immediately seen, including lower maintenance and call costs.
  • Professional telephony features include phone conferencing and auto call back.
  • IP telephony can also be implemented in small chunks – for example, to lower external call costs – or on a larger scale – for example, to get free calls between offices. These building blocks can mix and match with existing phone systems.

BHP Infosolutions

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