Broadband Phone Service Provider
A broadband phone service provider allows for customer to use a telephone over a high-speed Internet connection. All that is needed are a few simple adapters that connect a telephone to the proper equipment, and a broadband phone is born. Cable modems or DSL are currently the two types of Internet connection that work the best for broadband. The quality of sound with such phones is usually quite good, however, occasionally there can be a small delay in the time that someone speaks and the person on the other line hears them. Broadband in the simplest terms, is a method for the transfer of various forms of data over a single cable or telephone line. The service is in conjunction with high speed Internet and as a result is compatible only with such services.
Many people are choosing to go the high speed route and take advantage of the offers provided by broadband phone companies due to the fact that that most service plans offer such options as unlimited local calls and copious amounts of free minutes, and the systems is very reliable, meaning a much lower chance of dropped calls. The main complaint people have with the system is that if an Internet connection is lost or down for whatever reason, the telephone will not work until the connection is restored. This can be a problem providers constantly seek to improve the system in order to offer the best service possible.
Those who are in search of a broadband phone service provider need to be sure to research all the different options and plans of a wide array before settling on one. Commonly, contracts that are written up need to be gone over carefully before a potential customer pens down their name, because once one has signed, it can become very expensive if they decided latter on to switch providers. Relatively hefty service fees are charged to those who decided to discontinue and go to another plan, and then in turn a telephone company can be very expensive to reinstate if a user decides they do not wish to continue with broadband.
The market for a broadband phone service provider can prove to be very competitive. There are a number of service providers available due to high demand. In efforts to gain the attention of customers, providers must try to offer services and advantages that will give them that much needed edge over all the other competition. Many providers try to draw in customers by offering options for unlimited calling, free calls within certain regional parameters, free numbers, and so on. Prices for service generally range from twenty to thirty dollars a month, depending on the options a customer desires to have included. For those who are not sure about the system can also opt for a pay-as-you-go plan, meaning that the user only pays for the services as they use them.
There are quite a few advantages to investing in broadband phone companies, for example, users can expect to have relatively inexpensive long distance service, free options such as voice mail, the ability to keep a phone number in case of a move, have more than one telephone number within the same line, and more. The main disadvantages are chiefly that if a connection is lost then a user no longer has service until the high speed connection is restored, and the addition of a phone may cause delays in an otherwise speedy connection. There is a potential downside, however the high points outweigh the low and can prove to be a wise investment decision for many.
There are advantages and disadvantages to any broadband phone service provider. For example, due to a faster connection speed, broadband makes possible the fast download of software, files and pictures in a matter of a few short minutes as opposed to hours of waiting. Another plus is that the system allows for phone calls to still come through while the Internet connections is up and running, versus calls being blocked throughout the entirety of the time that someone is online. A person need not wait for the connection to become active, because with broadband the computer retains a connection for the duration that the computer itself is on. This also is beneficial as it allows for direct access at virtually anytime. The service also provides unlimited access which means that one will not be charged for the time they spend surfing the virtual waters, but rather a set monthly fee. Other advantages involve the ability to have full phone service in addition to unlimited Internet access.
Despite the many positive aspects that broadband phone companies offer there are some setbacks. For example, while users are not charged for the amount of time they spend on the World Wide Web, the monthly fees can be much more expensive than dial up. Due to the fact that the technology is still relatively new, not all areas are equipped for the service, so access is limited on a regional basis. There is also a greater security risk than with dial up, so users must take extra precautions by way of security measures.
Technology has helped to provide in many ways for the improvements of communication and research. The world is becoming a smaller place and the Internet has played a vital role in the shrinkage, and has become, for millions, a way of life by way of careers and recreation. Broadband phone companies offer packages that are affordable and accessible to a wide range of people and can prove to be very beneficial and exhibit the idea of being "...ready to distribute, willing to communicate;" (I Timothy 6:18) Despite potential monthly expenses, the connection speed and constant availability make the cost worthwhile.
Internet Telephony CompaniesAs any Internet telephony service provider can explain, telephony consists of using equipment to enable voice communication over distances. This technology is the electronic transmission of voice or other information, using systems which are usually associated with telephones. With computers available which can transmit digital information over telephone systems, and the use of radio to transmit telephone signals, the line between telephony and 'regular' telecommunications has become less distinct.
These Internet telephony companies use the Internet rather than telephone company infrastructure to carry spoken words and other forms of information. Since access is billed at regular local phone connection rates, a telephone call which is long distance or even international will be much less expensive. Fax transmissions will also cost less if they are routed through a gateway point online. Voice messages may be able to be sent along with text e-mails. An individual can add telephone capacity to a computer by adding a special board. This board combines modem, soundboard, speakerphone and voicemail functions. This type of board is often included in machines which are being marketed to small business or home office users. One such example is a telephony API (TAPI) which allows clients of the Internet telephony service provider to access voice capacity on a server and connects the PC and phone systems.
One term which is used constantly by Internet telephony companies is 'VoIP'. This term stand for 'Voice over Internet Protocol' and is optimized for voice transmission through the Internet or other packet-switched networks. (Voice transmission has plenty of other aliases: IP telephony, voice over broadband, broadband telephony and broadband phone. No wonder people get confused!) Voice-over-IP systems carry the telephone signals as digital audio, usually compressed and put into a data-packet stream.
VoIP can provide services that are difficult (or at least more expensive) using public-switched telephone networks. Adding an additional phone line to a home or office is easy, because more than one telephone call can be transmitted over the same broadband connection. Services such as conference calling, call forwarding, auto redial and caller ID are rendered nearly cost-free, whereas traditional telecommunication companies may charge extra fees for these services. Only an Internet connection is needed to get connected to a VoIP Internet telephony service provider. With a sufficient amount of fast and stable broadband, a person can work from just about anywhere. This independence is a valued feature offered by Internet telephony companies. Advanced telephone features are available, such as call routing and screen pops. One interesting use of Internet phone services is the ability to speak with a customer service representative while paging through an online catalog. Since the phone call is on the same data network as the user's PC, this opens up a host of future possibilities for businesses and consumers alike.
Security is often a concern, especially in a business situation. Individuals also may worry that their personal information could be intercepted. These are valid concerns, since without safeguards, it would be possible for outsiders to steal packets of information or possibly interrupt services. However, calls can be secured using standard protocols. Since the information is already digitized, one would only have to provide for encrypting and authenticating the data stream. Because services available from Internet telephony companies are attractive to business and individual users alike -- video conversations, file exchanges at the time of the conversation, audio conferencing -- no doubt security procedures will continue to be expanded and strengthened.
Choosing an Internet telephony service provider can seem daunting. There are many services which can be located by an online search. Some Internet telephony companies specialize in providing services for certain geographic areas, so they may have deals which are attractive to a certain niche of customers. Other important items to consider are reliability and voice quality. Deals which seem too good to be true may be exactly that, for some less expensive services have poor voice quality or the transmission may drop out in the middle of a conversation. It may be wise to take advantage of the free trial periods offered by many companies in order to ascertain the best value for the money. At times, it is better to pay more, in order to obtain a high quality product.
The services offered by an Internet telephony service provider can also be attractive to Christians who view the increasing variety of options as further opportunities for the followers of Jesus to share the gospel with those who have not heard it, or to strengthen believers by instructing them in the Bible. Paul's words in II Thessalonians 3:1 seem appropriate -- ...brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you. Interested persons could obtain a study partner or the use of commentaries and other materials to help illuminate difficult Bible passages. Indigenous pastors in far-away mission fields can receive training and encouragement without having to leave their homelands or incur educational debts. This also helps retain a pastor's credibiity among his own people. Local pastors can use conferencing services to meet with colleagues for training or fellowship, without having to worry about travel expenses. Such services will no doubt continue to expand and develop as time goes on. Enjoy using them for personal or business applications, but do not forget to apply them to a Christian's most important activities, for these can have eternal implications.