With schools struggling under the strain of financial pressures, David Tindall, founder of Schools Broadband, shows how modern-day telephony and broadband technologies are saving schools thousands of pounds a year on their telephone line and call rental costs
ISDN to be phased out
SIP (not a Self-Investment Pension, but Session Initiation Protocol!) are phone lines, or to be more precise, phone channels that run over your broadband. They replace the need for traditional ISDN phone lines and have been around for nearly 15 years. Believe it or not, most calls made in the UK now run over a form of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony. You’re probably familiar with the term VoIP, (Voice over Internet Protocol) that’s what this is.
In 2014, BT announced that they would no longer be providing new ISDN lines after 2020 and will cease all current ISDN circuits soon after. This has signalled the death of ISDN technology and BT is slowly pushing UK customers towards alternative technology such as SIP Trunks.
Most secondary schools and larger primary schools have some form of ISDN telephone line which makes no use of VoIP. It’s expensive to rent (often nearly £15 per line per month), compared to SIP which can be as little as £0). ISDN lines are expensive and slow to upgrade, calls normally cost more, they’re inflexible and there’s little redundancy if things go wrong.
Benefits and savings with SIP Trunks
By switching to SIP Trunks, schools will make immediate and long-term savings. Schools Broadband has been delivering Voice Over IP services to schools for over seven years, and on average, they say secondary schools using SIP Trunks have saved approximately £3000pa. SIP Trunks are more flexible, features are all-inclusive and call quality is guaranteed. SIP Trunks let you keep your existing telephone numbers and you also benefit from free site to site calls.
SIP Trunks are designed to work over any kind of broadband connection, but in practise work better when provided by your broadband provider. When delivered by your broadband provider, the SIP service will only run over its own network, guaranteeing call quality and protecting bandwidth for both voice and data. This means students and staff can be assured of uninterrupted internet and use of the phone. It also gives you one point of contact and billing for all your calls, lines, Internet and filtering. Schools Broadband goes one step further and provides one combined bill for everything, bringing simplicity and control to cost management for Business and Financial Managers.
SIP Trunks are quick and easy to install. All you need is a compatible telephone system, which you could already have, or a small plug-in VoIP gateway converter.