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Advice Please - Setting Up Office 5 Phones, Interweb Who Bt, Ntl Advice Suggestions

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Knowledgeable off-topicers

Hopefully setting up an office in near future, but need to know who to go with re comms. I need 5phones could be off one line, I really can't see needing more in the forseeable, the usual frills, transfers, caller id perhaps

I've heard BT are expensive, NTL seem better, the deals just cant be compared like for like (i suspect they do that on purpose)

How long does it take to implement, (office is recently refurbed including all wiring etc by previous tenants) is it just flipping a switch at an exchange?

I'm gonna ring them, but would appreciate a heads up as to their wheezes and scams or I'll just slam the phone down on smart@rse salesment

Reliability, phone systems to buy, pitfalls

I really don't see the need for super duper fast broadband, no one's going to be streaming anything (not on my watch) just email and a bit of google mapping

need to be able to port the number should the need arise

mainly calling uk landlines and mobiles

Thanks in advance to everyone

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If you're in a cabled area, then Virgin Media (business) will be worth talking to for the broadband performance and possible speed of install.

If not then you might be better off looking at smaller ISPs and staying away from BT Business. You will still have to suffer the performance of BT Openreach but you'll get someone more competent to talk to. Expect it to take weeks even if everything is in place. If you expect it to take ages and involve a number of chasing phone calls and a lot of frustration then you can only have your expectations exceeded.

Do you need "real" phone lines? VOIP is the way to go these days as long as the broadband performance is acceptable. In the absence of cable, you'll need to have VDSL ("Fibre to the Cabinet") available to make that work, and also to be quite near to the cabinet for acceptable upstream speeds.

If not, then you'll need to shell out for a private circuit - "EFM" if you're near the exchange otherwise you're looking at big money and so traditional voice lines will probably work better.

The ISP can advise you on what the options are and smaller business focused suppliers like Zen and AAISP to mention but two can probably sort out the VOIP lines and supply and help with the kit.

You say "in the near future" - many make the mistake of believing that this is some sort of modern, forward thinking country, lease premises, and find that their only connectivity option is the BT network with abysmal broadband performance. So check carefully before you sign. Getting somewhere with decent connectivity even if the premises aren't your first choice could save a lot of pain and money later.

If the offices are in a serviced complex then the provider may be able to assist with all of this.

With five people allowing at the very least 2Mbps each for really basic performance you'll need 10 Meg down and with VOIP at least half that upstream, the more the better.

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Seriously, you're asking all this to a group of people known to be unable to purchase a small kitchen electrical appliance without having to breathe into a paper bag?

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Have you looked at pricing with Talktalk? That's another one to consider.

I have my business broadband and line with them. The only issue I've had was caused by Openreach when the engineer wired it up incorrectly and my alarm modem interferred with the line.

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Seriously, you're asking all this to a group of people known to be unable to purchase a small kitchen electrical appliance without having to breathe into a paper bag?

We'll be fine, we just have to break the problem down into manageable chunks.

step 1: search internet to find price comparison site for paper bags. bulk quantities preferred.

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do you anticipate high volumes of concurrent phone calls, ie all 5 in use for a lot of time? If so then hosted VoIP may be the way to go. If you have a lower number of calls then get 3cx.com and SIP trunks. You'll be able to manage 3cx yourself and can do anything any phone system can do and also work from anywhere, turn your mobile into a phone extension etc. Allow 100k in each direction for VoIP calls so bandwidth isn't an issue, but low latency (ping times) and low packet loss are critical.

Where are you?

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Throw all that computer shit in the bin, and write letters again! -_-

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