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Your local phone company won’t be very happy about this one

By February 12, 2015 Voip

We are happy to announce that today, I am going to run for office. We are not sure what office. Perhaps Municipal, perhaps Federal, maybe even Provincial. It just seems like it would be fun. Really… how hard is it to get elected. We have to make a few promises and deliver on them.

So, here I go. I am going to create $ 7.6 Billion in redirected spending over the next 5 years and hand them out like a drunk sailor.


We know that phone companies (and cable companies) have bad billing practices. We touched on interest rates in the past (touched a few nerves with that one – which was kind of what we were going for). See:

So here is the concept – “Most companies have been over-provisioned for the phone lines that they have”. They have ‘x’ lines, they actually need only ‘y’ lines. And ‘y’ is less than ‘x’.

We have a few statements on the topic:

  1. Most companies have telecom services that have been in-place for 5 years or more (ordered originally under an estimate of actual use – and a true capacity utilization is unknown)
  2. Most companies cannot properly determine their actual utilized capacity (number of lines purchased) against the number of lines that they have
  3. Getting this information (objectively) is near impossible
  4. Most phone systems lack the sophistication to generate utilization reports – especially across multiple locations.

What does this mean? We believe every company (School Board, Hospital, Municipal Office etc.) in Canada is paying for capacity that they don’t need – And that is a good thing for the phone company and a pretty bad thing for the typical Canadian business.

Does anyone care?

It is a topic that no-one actually cares that much about. For example, if you look at our super fancy chart below (Table 1) a company with between 5 – 9 employees is basically wasting $ 35 per month.

Table 1 – Number of Employer Businesses by Sector and Firm Size (Number of Employees), December 2012

Source: Industry Canada


Is $ 35 material?

One time no, per month yes. In a 5 – 9 employee company you would likely have a full time president, an accounting person (possibly part-time) and an outsourced tech person for the occasional network break and fix. There is probably phone system that was purchased at the launch of a business some time ago along with a maintenance contract that may not have been renewed years ago (the old stuff tends to be reliable).

We have a challenge for you

Call your phone company. Ask them how many lines you have and how many lines you use. Circle the date on a calendar.

What you will get back

If you are national, they won’t know. If you have multiple offices, you will need to call each phone company – that’s fair.

If you call each phone company they will tell you that they still don’t know. There is no real way to easily check. But they will offer to provide a ‘Line Audit’ for you for a price of $ 500 to $ 1,000 (+/-) one time. I did one recently just for fun. I asked, the questions and this is what we got back:

They needed to know the following:

  • What day of the week did I want to analyze
  • What time of day did I want to do the study


Ever play go fish as a kid?

Obviously what I really wanted was a comprehensive view of my usage. What instead we got was a highly structured game of ‘go fish’. There was no real way for us to determine actual ‘use’ in any practical way.

Could I not get this information from my phone system?

Not likely. We would say historically no. A sales rep would say yes. But go ask about a dozen of your colleagues for the practical ‘real life’ response. It’s always a no.

We too would say the same thing. A new one perhaps could do this with the appropriate licensing (that people rarely get) for this report. But if you have multiple locations it would need to be both a new one and a highly ‘networked’ one. Consider that the expense of this is something that could be entirely avoided.

This means we / you would never really have a practical view of an entire 24 hour day or a 7 day week. We would need to pick our own busy window (IE: calls on a Tuesday between 12:01 pm and 5:00 pm) or your best guess on what your own ‘peak’ use window is.

I actually did order one about 5 months ago for a client. We never did get it. It is not something people ask for and it is not something that a phone company is quick to fire over to you.

Anyway… safe point. There is lots of capacity out there that no one can really analyze well.

So let’s hit the point home nice and hard

What could you do with this money?

Food! Food is a good idea. Voters love food.

We could eliminate 73% of the Ontario Deficit (Boring)

We could write everyone in Canada a cheque (Voters love money)

We could write every household a cheque (I think individual cheques would get more votes)

Cars! We could give away 30,768 Kia Optimas (Kia makes a great car.. voters love cars)

We could give a free tank of gas to every Canadian household (Meh)

If your a phone company – how happy do you think they are right now?

A phone company would like to achieve some pretty basic goals. When they book their super fancy retreats or sales kick-offs I suspect there is a 10 or 12 slide power-point that says the following:

One last thing

Depending on what province you are in. Go to your local phone company website and do a search on SIP Trunking or SIP Channels. Read what they say. They have them – but they don’t promote them. They work – but they are in no rush to tell you about them.

Let us know if you want a sign on your lawn.

About Frontier Networks:

Frontier Networks Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and provides Broadband Internet or MPLS, Voice lines or Cloud PBX (a replacement to old phone systems), cloud servers and colocation to Canadian Retail and Multi Site customers who demand world-wide coverage from a ‘new’ network. Our management and operating team is loaded with industry specialists and our network is truly high-speed and adaptive to properly support the requirements of customers who wish to reduce costs substantially by combining their broadband and voice services onto one, lower cost, network. We have the highest density of regional Points of Presence available and offer a 100% coverage policy. Simply put ‘we don’t suck’.

See more at:

Follow me @luigicalabrese
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