Clams, Clams and More Clams

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Clams, Clams and More Clams

Cooking this weekend took a back seat to celebrating. I did not cook Friday or Saturday. However, do not despair as I developed two exciting new recipes on Sunday. The first was clam chowder using razor clams given to me by one my co-workers. They were incredibly sweet and tender. The chowder is made using double smoked bacon and just a hint of nutmeg. The second dish evolved from a menu item served by a seafood restaurant in San Jose. It was called a Bucket of Clams. I like the dish because cooking the clams or other mollusks like mussels creates a really rich and tasteful broth. It is almost a requirement to have some crusty bread (sourdough is my choice) to dip into the broth. Yesterday, I made it using soft shell clams, PEI mussels and the rest of the razor clams gifted to me. But it is also good with just mussels or just clams. These are both great dishes to make during the winter months and they are a good alternative to the usual stews and chilies prepared to warm our hearts.  I am going to share both recipes but only one per week. Today’s recipe of the week is Steamed Clams. Enjoy!

And more Clams

I interrupted listing decision criteria for broadband selection given the news that the senate failed to overturn the new FCC rules for net neutrality. So, let’s begin again looking specifically at how many clams it may cost.

  1. What is the budget for broadband?

    After determining the amount of bandwidth required to support both the immediate and near term needs of the business, it is important to understand the available alternatives. In addition to various types of broadband (i.e. ADSL, SDSL, T1, DS3, Ethernet) there is also the question of quality and guarantee of service. Most DSL based services are defined as offering a range of speeds. There is generally an upload speed and a download speed. The download speed is usually higher than the upload speed. While DSL is the least expensive alternative, it is the riskiest when serving business applications and personnel beyond 10-12 employees. The other options all offer better quality of service and guarantee of bandwidth which is very important when supporting VoIP, access to BSS/OSS systems and Internet based solutions. Cable is becoming a very inexpensive way of getting access to bandwidth in excess of 10 Mbps and if the net neutrality rules prevail, I will become more comfortable with using this option. In the meantime, I suggest selecting broadband carriers that are reputable and can price a traditional connection as well as Ethernet. Metro Ethernet and Ethernet over Copper are very competitive price wise and deliver good QoS with reliable speeds.

  2. Can additional savings be achieved?

    Today, it is the rule that broadband selection assume some percentage of VoIP. A converged solution should reduce overall telecom costs. However, if SIP Trunking is added to the mix, then there is the option of centralizing the telecom services off of an IP PBX, thereby reducing the number of individual broadband circuits. The typical case is to replace or reduce the number of PRIs by routing traffic through a corporate hub. PRIs are often underutilized and a major telecom cost component. Since most carriers will require the full purchase of a PRI, most of the time there are unused channels. By converting to SIP Trunking, a business can purchase the exact number of voice channels required.

    Finally, there is the additional option to leverage G.729 by compressing the voice traffic which will also reduce the amount of bandwidth required. Most carrier networks support many different types of codecs with G.711a being the preferred for VoIP using SIP as the protocol. However, the MOS rating for G.729 (MOS 4.2) is usually only a couple tenths less than G.711 (MOS 4.4) and normally outside the range of what most people can detect. One of Broadvox’s larger customers has been quite pleased with the voice quality and savings achieved using G.729. And they have been using our SIP Trunking service for nearly four years.

I will finish the countdown on Wednesday. See you then.



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