Business Ready VoIP: Cable vs. Wireline

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

Business Ready VoIP: Cable vs. Wireline

I have been down on cable for months as a “business ready” connection. The fluctuating quality of cable services and the lack of predictability of the upload and downloads speeds made using a cable service for business very risky. That’s right, I used the word “made”. Cable service for business VoIP and cloud-based applications is improving. I do not believe it is the equal of metro Ethernet or a wireline offering of SDSL or a T1. However, due to competition, monitoring by the FCC and, possibly, the new Rules for Open Internet (Net Neutrality) the services are improving.

The posting on an FCC blog regarding the improvement in delivery of services by Cablevision is a clear indication.

“We are pleased to note that the performance of one company—Cablevision—markedly improved from earlier this year. As we noted in our report, during March 2011, subscribers to Cablevision’s 15 Mbps service were receiving average download speeds during peak hours of only about 50% of the advertised speed…During October 2011, the most recent month for which data is available, subscribers to Cablevision’s 15 Mbps service were receiving average download speeds during peaks hours at over 90% of the advertised speed.”

This is good. Not that I have any interest in Cablevision, but they did respond to a negative related to their service. Others found “guilty” of over promising and under delivering will find it difficult to sell in an increasingly competitive market. Comcast, the largest cable provider of VoIP services needs to keep its focus on offering VoIP to businesses not television services. When I am at work here at Broadvox, I am only impressed by great voice quality and blazing Internet speeds. I have little use for the 150 “most in-demand” cable/TV networks.

However, using cable to provide VoIP continues to lag the quality of traditional access and broadband. Consider that Verizon advertises their FiOS based business phone line service as 99.9% reliable. Certainly, not how they previously advertised their wireline/TDM business services. Even more incredible is there is very little cost savings. The Freedom for Business product is more than double our GO! SIP Trunking offering. But I digress. I have had AT&T U-verse (at home) for just over a year and other than not being able to see every NFL game, I am very pleased with the service.

As more peering arrangements are completed between the cable companies and ITSPs to support BYOB and improved QoS, I’ll tout using cable for business phone communications. For now, I’ll say they are improving.

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