Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed that fewer companies are using traditional analogue phones. In the past using digital IP and VoIP used to be fairly limited to companies with the technical skills to support it. However nowadays, it’s relatively straight forward and is a useful selling point for any ISP who wants to secure a small or medium sized companies business.
It does however have huge implications for the traditional telecommunications providers like BT who need to either embrace or fight this change. There’s only one sensible option though and BT will surely see that.
Slowly individuals are realizing that they have all the communication networks they need through their broadband connection and don’t really need anything else. My analogue phone line usually has a couple of categories of called – 1) my mother in law and 2) endless insurance companies trolling for business. With analogue lines it’s difficult to deal with category 2 the ‘nuisance callers’ but it’s so much simpler with digital alternatives.
Here’s a quote from the ISP section of thinkbroadband.
A converged all IP future is the vision for Openreach and the network operator is proposing to run two trials that will help them learn what does and does not work when moving away from analogue voice of today to its new digital IP voice service delivered over a broadband connection into the home.
The two locations that are likely to take part in the trial are Salisbury and Mildenhall, Salisbury is a Fibre First exchange and is set to see some 20,000 premises with FTTP available once the roll-out is complete on the exchange and Mildenhall is a mixture of technologies so will be a good test of SOGEA and SOGfast connectivity. Salisbury is set to be unusual in that universal FTTP access is claimed as the end result.
A consultation period is now open until the end of July for communication providers and a launch is expected in October 2019.
Everyone has their doubts about how voice over broadband will work and perhaps the hardest area will be residential premises where the person does not have any broadband service today and sees no need for any changes. Running a trial such as this should give Openreach some hard data on how difficult things are, or fingers crossed how easy.
It’s an interesting development and hopefully will lead to wholesale changes in the provision of phone services in the United Kingdom. British Telecom has the ability and resources to provide a lead in this area, but seem more interested in maintaining profits. They could and should become a pioneer in providing digital telecommunications to the ordinary users not just the well funded businesses.
Communication using broadband is of course pretty mainstream now with plenty of free alternatives available. Many youngster for example rarely use standard phone communications but rely heavily on applications like Snapchat and Whatsapp to keep in touch. These generally offer a more secure environment too so that it’s not necessary to buy proxies and VPNs to encrypt connections either.