Data Packets

The issue when voice becomes a packet is that it is unlike other data packets steaming through your network today. Accessing pages on the internet or email is different than packetizing a voice call. If your web browser or mail client does not receive all the packets that it needs to display the page or email, it requests them again, while you wait for the page to load or your email to arrive – this is one reason why pages sometimes load slower than others and why some emails take longer than others. With web pages or email, the web page or email is encoded as data and includes information that tells the receiving end what type and how many packets to expect, and at the end, checks against that to make sure it has received all of the packets, if it hasn't it simply requests a re-transmission.

Voice Packets

These steps are impossible with Voice as it is 'real-time'. Most data applications have the ability to recover if there are lost or 'dropped' packets, as they simply request the missing packets, and have instructions on how to assemble properly when they have them all. With Voice, if packets are lost or are dropped, the quality goes down or the call drops. Every step that is introduced in the process for transmission, adds a possibility for this to happen. Different providers use different encoding schemes and voice calls are often encoded and decoded many times during the process. This is why voice quality is not business grade for VoIP applications like Vonage and Skype – every point of re-transmission provides potential for dropping packets and impacting quality.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – Challenges continue

VoIP providers try and match the quality that the ILEC's use and they use a voice Codec (computer program from Coder/Decoder) called G.711, which takes up a lot of bandwidth, each call approximately 80 – 90 Kbps. Most Business DSL Internet connections are sold and marketed as up to 8 Mbps (Megabits per second) – a Megabit is 1000 Kbps. This is a best case scenario, as DSL performance is based on distance from the serving Bell Central Office. Also, this describes only the download speed, the upload speed is usually sold as up to 800 Kbps (Kilobits per second). Typical Business DSL performance is 4 .5 Mbps download, and 450 Kbps upload.

What does this mean for Voice?

Voice is a duplex service, meaning that it requires both download bandwidth so you can hear the caller, and upload bandwidth so they can hear you. If a G.711 call takes up to 90 Kbps, then the most that you could ever have on a typical DSL connection would be 450 (upload bandwidth) / 90 (bandwidth needed per call) = 5 concurrent calls. This would require that the connection be dedicated just for voice, and no-one is using that DSL connection for their data or internet needs (email, IM, surfing, etc.) So, businesses would have to consider larger bandwidth connections, which increase the price to the point where it would cost more money for them to adopt an IP Voice solution. For an example, the next tier of connectivity averages about $500 per month compared to DSLs average of under $100 per month.

The Fibernetics Solution

Fibernetics approach to overcoming the historical and technological limitations of delivering business grade voice services via IP were to:
  • 1.) Leverage our advantage of being both a CLEC, and the ISP, and
  • 2.) Leverage the latest in hardware and software technology to provide true Quality of Service (QoS) for Business Voice

Why being a CLEC and an ISP matters

We leverage the fact that we are a CLEC and an ISP. Our voice network connectivity is directly, physically, connected to the PSTN, and our data connection is directly, physically, connected between the customer and our data network. Because of this, we can manage the connection from end to end. There are no third party providers involved, we provide the access into and out of the PSTN, and provide the transit for all calls to and from the customer over our private, managed network connection.