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June 2017, Vol. 8, No. 5

Network pros troubleshoot VoIP quality, reliability

Not long ago, Eric Prosser's nephew asked him about a peculiar piece of technology: the rotary phone, the one with the numbers positioned in a circular layout and "dialed" using a finger to rotate each digit to a fixed-stop position. With cellphones now ubiquitous -- and the only technology that a growing segment of the workforce has ever known -- even older workers familiar with landlines and corporate private branch exchanges (PBXs) have come around to the idea that a dropped call is normal. And that, Prosser said, has helped smooth the adoption of voice over IP (VoIP). "Nobody thinks twice about [a dropped call] because their cellphone does it all the time," said Prosser, IT officer for Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District. "The entire [VoIP] market has matured to where I think the quality is there; it's just a matter of how you design your system." Prosser has switched to VoIP for all calls at the department's 15 fire stations. How you design your system establishes the VoIP quality you need. The old national ...

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