VoIP Reliability Concerns Grow

By Jelani Harper
Updated: September 15, 2011

VoIP Reliability Concerns Grow

Concerns regarding the reliability of VoIP service have always persisted, and don’t appear to be subsiding as of yet. Stability issues regarding the quality of service for VoIP typically manifest via jittery, delayed connections and packet loss, which forces users to incur varying degrees of audio problems that may result in downtime. Sources of these issues include service provider inadequacies, networking complications, and infrastructure issues based upon locality.

VoIP Service Provider Inconsistency

Unfortunately, there are several VoIP vendors that have developed reputations for notoriously inconsistent service. Most industry professionals generally adhere to the notion that inexpensive residential VoIP providers that offer service that may be utilized with an analog telephone adaptor that converts the traditional signal into a digital one, incur more voice quality issues than business grade services with specialized IP phones with their own ethernet jacks. However, it should be noted that there are quality complaints with business VoIP vendors as well, and customers should thoroughly research the service record of any company they are considering using.

Internet Service Provider

Oftentimes, another frequent source of unreliable VoIP service stems from the quality of internet service provider utilized by an organization. Users must ensure that they have sufficient bandwidth to sufficiently accommodate their VoIP usage, which significantly adds to the bandwidth required for an existing network. Issues such as dropped calls occur when the VoIP signal is cast aside in favor of that other networking traffic. Software can be procured to prioritize voice data transmission and substantially reduce the networking preference for non-VoIP data.

Additional Networking Issues

Additional networking issues that may result in unreliable VoIP service can be traced to a lack of tools to adequately troubleshoot and manage VoIP performance, particularly during periods of heavy call use. While other networking components such as computer and internet connections are relatively stable, VoIP’s extreme sensitivity to its surrounding components can be improved with network analysis tools that allow for sufficient levels of monitoring and troubleshooting.

Geographic Locality

In some instances, it has been demonstrated that issues with VoIP service and its consistency have been exacerbated by the location of an individual or organization. Those who live in rural areas may experience service difficulties due to weather conditions that may result in power outages. Such areas are typically the last to be serviced when such outages occur. Additionally, reliability issues may result from locations in which there are older phone lines being used and in which the source of the problem is the area’s infrastructure.

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