Network Services, commonly referred to as dial tone has been around since there have been choices from the telephone company. Years ago your company could have a T1 line which provided Direct in Dialing numbers, DID. This affords your employees having a direct telephone number without have a dedicated line. This evolved to ISDN, Integrated Services Digital Network. This was like T1 but had ANI, Automatic Number Identification which is very similar to Caller ID. It had some additional features most notably DNIS. This stands for Dialed Number Identification Services which allow your company to determine which telephone number was dialed by a customer. Unique numbers could be associated with distinctive products and services. These numbers could be answered differently by your employees. Do you remember those late night 800 numbers selling the ginsu knife? That was DNIS in action. DNIS let those operators know if you were calling for a Kitchen Magician or the Slim Whitman record.

In the old days, every outside line you had in your business corresponded to a pair of copper wires sent from Ma Bell’s Central Office over her telephone poles and into your building. Today the great majority of business telephone service is brought in over T1 or coax. Ma Bell evolved into a LEC, Local Exchange Carrier. They are the default providers. In our neck of the woods, it’s AT&T and Frontier (who purchased it recently from Verizon, formerly GTE). Chances are your service is not provided by the LEC but a CLEC, Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. You know them as Earthlink (formerly One Communications) TDS Metrocom, PAETEC, Norlight etc. Since these CLEC’s don’t own any telephone poles, all their service to you is over anything but copper. It could be T1, fiber, coax or even satellite.

Since you’re getting a full T1 and voice is but an application on the network. LEC’s and CLEC’s are providing internet access and dial tone (voice and data) on the same connection. Whatever is left over on the T1 bandwidth after you subtract what is needed for voice equals the usable bandwidth for your internet.  Sometimes this is called Dynamic T1. Do you want DID numbers and DNIS with that? It’s not a problem.

So now that we know where we’ve been, where are we going?  SIP, Session Initiation Protocol, holds the most potential. SIP trunks typically cost less than comparable service. They’re location agnostic-you can have listed telephone numbers from anywhere in the US and often times the world. Since the FCC and Illinois Commerce Commission see it as a data service, it’s exempt from many of the taxes levied on traditional dial tone services. Most of the newer telephone systems are designed to integrate directly with SIP trunking. This lowers the cost of the telephone equipment needed.

SIP, T1, DID, DNIS; what works best for my business and will be a cost effective implementation? Do what the Pro’s do. Call a vendor who is affiliated with your LEC and all the CLEC’s and provides all the services. Our affiliation with a Master Agent to all these providers with all their services make us the Pro’s choice. Give Select Telecom & Technologies a call today at 815-282-5151 or at and let us put our 25+ years of experience to work for you.

  1. Kay Freemon says:

    Amazing article, thanks for taking the time to talk about communications with us all.

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