PackNet's VoIP Roundup for August


author By Patrick Byrnes, 13/08/15
VoIP Roundup August 2015

In the August edition of our VoIP roundup, we will be keeping you up to date with what’s been going on here at PackNet, as well as taking a look at the latest news in VoIP.


PackNet News

Survey Responses

Feature: Survey Responses

We’d like to thank everyone who completed the survey we sent out last month. We received some great responses from our clients so we would like to share some with you.

We’ve put some of the results just below – both good and bad – and beneath that we’ve selected some comments left by clients which we have replied to.

Good points:

  • 100% rated our network reliability as very good (42%) or good (58%).
  • 92% rated our support as very good (50%) or good (42%).
  • 91% said they would rate their satisfaction with our services as very good (58%) or good (33%).
  • 83% are interested in, and want to see more, of our development projects.

Areas for improvement:

  • 25% rated our hardware ordering process as nothing special.
  • 50% only use Metis sometimes and 17% rarely.
  • Comment: Desk phones are great but think conference phones and cordless handsets could be better
  • Comment: Your Engineers get more information than the end users as you can see connection history whilst we can only see current connection state, this would be useful in trying to address issues.
  • Comment: Broadband ordering, Line speed / availability checks [would be useful in Metis]

A few comments from Packnet:

“Desk phones are great but think conference phones and cordless handsets could be better”

This month we added 3 brand new conference phones to our hardware range. The Konftel 55W Wireless Conferencing Phone, the Polycom SoundStation IP6000 and the Polycom SoundStation IP7000. We hope this will give clients more choice so they can decide which conference phone is right for them.

We added the new Gigaset N510IP and S650H bundle to our cordless range along with the Yealink W52.

We’re actively looking at expanding our hardware range so expect further additions as the months go by.

Your Engineers get more information than the end users as you can see connection history whilst we can only see current connection state, this would be useful in trying to address issues.

Most of the time our support staff will be looking at the Metis portal for the majority of their information however they do have access to systems that customers do not. Unfortunately we can’t give access to these systems for obvious reasons however we are developing a connection history tool for the Diagnostics page in Metis. We hope to release this into Metis Live soon.

Broadband ordering, Line speed / availability checks [would be useful in Metis]

Believe it or not this has been something we have been looking at for some time now. We’ve had a few difficulties caused by supplier’s systems switching around and leaving us to play catch up. You will more likely see the Availability Check on Metis before Broadband Ordering due to the former being simpler to develop and the latter depending on supplier’s API functionality… which can be a little hit and miss at times.

50% only use Metis sometimes and 17% rarely.

Improving Metis and its usability has been an ongoing mission of ours. Something we have been focusing on recently is the look and feel of Metis. This includes general aesthetics of the site and the wording of a lot of the tools and features. Improving this will improve the user experience and hopefully allow more clients to make the most of it! So with that said, keep on the look out for more updates very soon.

100% rated our network reliability as very good (42%) or good (58%).

We’re happy that all respondents answered this question with very good or good, however we do notice that more of them selected good rather than very good. We take our network reliability very seriously, as do our clients, after all – what good is a telco if they’re not up and running? So we will be actively taking measures to improve our reliability by investing further in network hardware and upkeep.


New Hardware Pricing

New hardware pricing and additional items

In case you missed our latest update, this month we updated pricing for a lot of hardware items. In most cases prices for phones actually went down so that’s good news all around. You can view all your hardware pricing in your Metis account under View Services. View a list of all new hardware items in our recent blog.

If you would like to place an order just let us know by emailing voip@pack-net.co.uk.


Other News

BT Openreach

Ofcom considering Openreach split from BT

In last month’s round up we commented on Sky’s scathing complaints to Ofcom in relation to the BT Group company Openreach. Sky made the comments prior to Ofcom’s, once every decade, review of the telecom industry.

In July it was revealed that Ofcom will be reviewing how the breakup of Openreach from its parent company BT “could deliver competition or wider benefits for end-users”.

“It would remove BT’s underlying incentive to discriminate against competitors. Separation could also offer ways to simplify existing regulation,” it said.

Ofcom’s latest move will seem like a minor victory to the likes of Sky and other BT rivals, however it doesn’t mean that BT and Openreach will be breaking up any time soon.

Ofcom will be completing the review by the end of the year after weighing up each pro and con. It’s likely that the regulator will impose further regulations unto BT and Openreach rather than a full split, something which is unprecedented and potentially a very messy process.

BT have hit back at Sky by demanding a probe into the Pay TV market which Sky dominate. Ofcom rejected the call but will look at the ease with which pay-TV customers can switch providers, and the role bundling content such as sports and movies with broadband has on competition: “This is not a detailed review of pay TV, but it does provide an opportunity for us to stand back and look at the question of bundles generally.”


WhatsApp

Will the UK Government really ban WhatsApp?

With over 800 million monthly active users around the world, it’s hard to believe that WhatsApp could soon be banned under new laws proposed by the Conservative government.

Any app or service using end-to-end encryption would be forced to hand over messages to intelligence agencies, as long as the sender of those messages is under suspicion. If they do not comply they risk being totally banned by the government.

WhatsApp has given much praise to its encryption, stating not even they can read the messages you send. So were the law to be passed it would be regarded as a major u-turn for them to grant access to UK law enforcement.

The bill was originally introduced to parliament in 2012 but thanks to Liberal Democrat opposition from within the coalition it was blocked at the last minute, however David Cameron made his refreshed intentions clear after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, stating in January: “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremes, with a signed warrant from the Home Secretary personally that we cannot read,”

“My answer to that question is no, we must not. If I am Prime Minister, I will make sure it is a comprehensive piece of legislation that makes sure we do not allow terrorist safe spaces to communicate with each other.”

It’s difficult to believe that WhatsApp could realistically be banned without massive uproar from its users. It’s equally as difficult to believe that the proposed Snooper’s Charter could be passed without even more uproar from the opposition and privacy advocate groups.