Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>

Matt Brunk | September 01, 2017 |


Carrier Abandons Copper... and Customers

Carrier Abandons Copper... and Customers The experience of transitioning from copper to fiber services can be less than satisfactory for many businesses.

The experience of transitioning from copper to fiber services can be less than satisfactory for many businesses.

One recent evening I received a call from a realtor client asking for help because a carrier had left his wife in tears. Like many realtors, these folks operate a sizable business from a home office -- and yet the carrier refused to process a request to install fiber for their residential and separate voice, Internet, and TV service needs. (A good reminder of why some phone companies are referred to as "dominant" carriers.)

This refusal came after many futile attempts to re-establish their services after following the phone company's instructions to convert to fiber or lose service since it would no longer be supporting copper. We're all hopeful that this fiasco, which started in June, will soon begin to right itself -- at least to the benefit of one of millions of customers who has endured more than what I would expect of anyone.

My suggestion to anyone facing a similar circumstance is to get fiber, when it's cost effective. When dual services are involved, focus on only one thing at a time with phone companies. In my client's case, I recommended to call back and request Internet-only service for the business -- nothing else -- on a month-to-month basis.

What I need to explain next is that this tactic isn't without its own pain or bumps.

After spending more time on the phone with the dreaded provider, the wife reported that she was successful. However, the call center rep did try to sell her bundled services at a special discount in exchange for a commitment. I told her to refuse the bundled offering and instead ask for a static IP address. Of course this didn't go so well, but she endured, held her ground, and as a consequence got a change in delivery date.

What were the customer expectations? In an email I received from them, they wrote: "After all, you spoiled us with what we have now, and it's worked perfectly for us for 17 years. Too bad it got old and XXXXX [the phone company] is so uncooperative."

I arranged for a site survey, with photos, so I could get a refresher on what I had installed 17 years prior. Turns out the original installation cabling and system actually dates back 24 years, and the only replacement was the uninterruptible power supply, updated every four or five years.

Once I saw the photos, I could relive the install, remembering it as rather substantial due to the size of the home and home office. The good news is that I had wired most of the home and office with two drops (one Cat3 and one Cat5) in the residential or three drops (one Cat3 and two Cat5) per office location. They liked this solution, and did not want to change it.

To smooth out the transition, we've prequalified the customer telephone numbers for porting and have both a wireless DECT solution for their mobility concerns and SIP desk phones for the business office needs. The fax will remain on the fiber service as fax and as a backup to VoIP. Their overall bill will be substantially less, but that's not their concern.

Looking bigger picture, I can't help but to wonder how many more tears will be shed in the transition from copper to fiber. Copper isn't in the future plans for the carriers, and many businesses will have solutions in place that aren't suited to IP.

How we make it through the journey of change is more important than the change itself, and I can say that our industry has failed miserably in this sense of delivering good experience for customers taking the leap -- willingly or not -- and moving to IP. Maybe the expectations are unrealistic and people have come to expect less. I don't want the next 17 years to be one of regrets, nor do I think that will happen.

The one key benefit of IP is knowing that I won't be held hostage again by the phone company and it can still provide me with transport, a static IP address, and a fax line. And I will be happy because fiber is an excellent service -- the dreaded phone company does a much better job with fiber than it does providing telephone services.

Follow Matt Brunk on Twitter!


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

January 24, 2018

Communications, collaboration, and contact center systems are all being delivered from the cloud, to more enterprises each year. With the cloud growing in strategic importance, the question is what

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.