View Full Version : Looking for advice on telecommunications companies for local business service.

03-24-2010, 9:46 AM
Hello, I work for a chain of restaurants that have 10 corporate locations. They each have very basic phone service, 2-3 voice lines, 1 for fax/dsl, 1 for the alarm. About 1/2 are with Verizon, 1/2 with AT&T and their bills range from 300-500 a month, which seems very high.

Anyone know any local telcom companies that may be able to provide a package with local phone, internet, ect., even if it's VOIP service it should work except for the alarm line.

03-24-2010, 10:59 AM
Each location is 300-500?

Good, business DSL should run about 100 per month per location, though you can probably get that reduced if you contact business sales, either via the local carrier or via something like Speakeasy.

Phones will be a bit more difficult, but you could set up an Asterisk server in your main location, and have the phones join that PBX from the restaurants. You'll be looking at maybe 200 or so for 5 trunks and 20 DIDs, plus the investment of purchasing phones for the locations. Thirty phones will run you about 6k or so.

03-27-2010, 7:58 PM
How far apart are the locations from each other? Do they get frequent local calls for such things as dinner reservations?

How critical is fax, inbound or outbound? This can be troublesome with Asterisk though it's gotten better with 1.6 from what I hear.

Can the company that's handling the alarm service take an IP connection? Some can, others can't. Some require a dedicated hard line for it.

What's your requirement for 911 service? Doing VoIP back to a corporate office is one thing, making sure you have the physical 911 address associated to the DID's dedicated to a particular location can be done but it's more complex.

Most telco's can handle what your asking for in a larger location than yours, but it's going to be tough at such a small scale as you are describing. They generally won't do regular phone lines outside of their service area unless you are willing to do a PRI which sounds like overkill for what you're asking.

There's a lot more questions to ask and go through before anyone can give you a really good specific answer. I know somebody - a close friend whom I worked for while between jobs - who does a lot of phone system work. If you're in SoCal I can give you a referral to him. He specializes in small-business phone systems.


03-27-2010, 8:09 PM
Where are they located?

03-27-2010, 10:27 PM
"How critical is fax, inbound or outbound? This can be troublesome with Asterisk though it's gotten better with 1.6 from what I hear."
It has more to do with the ATA than with Asterisk. T.38 is absolutely critical, but there are several that support it. If you really want to have some fun, try using a T.38 over a satellite connection.

As far as 911 goes, your SIP Trunk provider should easily be capable of configuring the correct address in their database for that DID.

03-30-2010, 4:52 PM
Here are some telecom companies that provide service other than the ILECS(Incumbant Local Exchange Carrier).

These are the more common ones off the top of my head. I believe they all provide POTS,VOIP,DSL,T1 services for businesses.

Telepacific Comm/Mpower Comm - Same company, AFAIK they merged. http://www.arrival.com/products/

XO Comm - http://www.xo.com/services/Pages/overview.aspx

Covad Comm - http://www.covad.com/

03-30-2010, 4:56 PM
TPac is cool. I've used them before for some stuff.

Paetec is also a great alternate.

But the best way, IMO, is to get a central VOIP server for the restaurants and a single POTS line for each location for alarm purposes.