Client Description: Client runs a dedicated hosted VOIP system using 3CX based at a COLO site provided by Telewebtech.
Summary: A fully functional VOIP system is held back by an Internet Service Provider’s recent update to their infrastructure, but the ISP is unable to correctly diagnose the problem. This causes a 90 day setback as the system must be fully analyzed and the national cable company must be repeatedly contacted by our engineers before it agrees to send a technician to replace their hardware. Identifying the Problem: The system worked flawlessly at install for all locations; however, significant jitter and service interruptions continued to plague the system. Our engineers initially performed speed test from all client sites in June for their IP telephony roll-out in July. The speed test at the particular location causing issues showed 13Mbps to – 15Mbps download and 3Mbps upload at the time. This would easily satisfy the needs for a planned 2 phones at the location.
Solution Process: Since most of the service issues involved a single location, Telewebtech’s engineers began by changing out hardware including: server hardware, phones, and routing equipment. The site’s network was also scouted for viruses and outdated processes by the client’s managed IT service by our request. No changes or updates to our system acted as a final solution for call quality associated with this location.
Having exhausted all other avenues TWT turned to the Internet Service Provider, a national cable company. The carrier had made a substantial investment in backbone equipment and bumped the system’s speed almost 18 months earlier. Our Director of Engineering suspected the cable router (modem) was not able to correctly interact with its updated host.
Initially, the ISP conducted the same speed tests remotely with the client and found no issues. As a result, the company refused to dispatch a field tech. In particular, the ISP felt that since the phone system was front ending its cable modem with a Linksys wireless router the problem was likely a part of Telewebtech’s phone system.
Solution: Telewebtech remained committed to a solution. The single location’s call quality had now been delayed 3 months due to the carrier’s requirement that Telewebtech revisit previous solutions. Finally, our Director of Engineering took a legal address from the client’s pool of 5 static IPs and connected a phone directly to the cable modem. With the same issues, our engineers were finally able to convince the carrier to make an office visit.
We were right. The cable company field tech walked in and, without even blinking said the first thing he was going to do was replace the end-of-life cable router. Telewebtech had an engineer on site to over-see the process. The cable tech replaced the cable router and visited Google on his laptop. He was headed out the door when our engineer stopped him to ask questions including if he had set up the old static address at the head end. The cable tech responded “Oh, you have static IPs?”
Some 45 minutes later, the client did not have its old static IPs, but some slightly different ones. The default gateway setting was off by 4 digits in the last octet, and the gateway was now down from the range instead of up. Telewebtech reconfigured the static devices in the network and the client was back in business, with substantially better performance, and none of the latency that had previously been experienced.
Take-Aways: Carriers (ISPs) only want to be responsible for their wire and loosely define the word “connection”. This cable company had no deliverable that included an end-to-end solution. It has no way of being personally accountable for the operation of a company network or phone system, let alone the company’s business itself. As most small businesses are not technical, had TWT as the VOIP service provider simply directed the company to their ISP, their service would still be struggling due to oversights by the carrier.
Simply put, all carriers will tell you that they can support your business, but very few actually have the methodology, staff, experience, and commitment to do understand the requirements to do so. What our engineers found and fixed could not have been done from India or a N.O.C. in Atlanta for that matter. A talented engineer had to be on-site with the client overseeing the carrier. Our engineers had to stay dedicated to being responsible for the solution regardless of the cost, time, materials, and underlying issue.
We at Telewebtech like to think that this doggedness is what built American business, and what keeps it going. As the larger carriers continue to enroll off-shore support and centralize their service teams, the opportunity for local American companies to offer solutions to, and really help, other local American companies becomes more rewarding, for all companies involved.