Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) systems

First it is necessary to identify which varieties of VoIP your location may be employing (bear in mind your company may be employing some or all of these technologies at the same time):

  1. VoIP to the desktop – the phone set itself plugs into the data network jack in the wall. Commonly in this scenario your computer’s network cable may be connected to the phone rather than the wall jack
  2. VoIP connecting to other sites – a business is connected to its other locations to enable sharing of data applications, and the phone systems at the various locations are also networked across that data pipe
  3. VoIP delivers outside dial tone or connectivity to the Public Switched Telephone Network(PSTN)

Other questions to ask:

  1. Does the device or function not work at all? (No lights, no sounds, no display) Or does it function but just with poor quality?
  2. Does the problem appear on all devices? Just a few? Or only one?
  3. Is the problem occurring all the time? Can you duplicate it? Or is it intermittent and it comes and goes seemingly at random?
  4. What types of calls have the problem? Extension-to-extension? Extension to outside world (PSTN)?  Site-to-site?
  5. Have there been any changes made to the data network recently? (New firewall, different Internet Service provider? Changes to server or data switches?

Regardless of which variety(s) are in use, unless the VoIP devices are completely inoperable and unable to produce packets, trouble in a VoIP system is nearly always a function of trouble on the data network, which is solely responsible for the delivery of those VoIP packets between devices.

Digital telephone systems (TDM)

Power outages:  Many systems come with back up batteries that will keep the system running during short power outages (less than 10 minutes). Older phone systems sometimes also come equipped with a battery for your CPU. The CPU battery keeps the CPU memory energized so that your programming is not lost. It is important to check all these batteries on a regular basis. Platinum and Maintenance customers have their batteries checked on a quarterly basis and replaced as necessary. Newer systems usually use flash memory which eliminates the need for a CPU battery.

Carrier issues: Our service and support department will gladly assist all Gold and Platinum maintenance customers with carrier issues at no charge. All non-maintenance customers will be charged a service fee for this service. We will need your carrier type (CenturyLink, TW Telecom, Comcast, Windstream, etc). Your carrier account number or the BTN (business telephone number) on the account. Some carriers require we have the customer on the line with us at the time we report an issue and request a ticket.

Carrier customer service contact information:

  • TW Telecom: 800-829-0420
  • Comcast: 800-391-3000
  • Windstream: 877-340-2555
  • CenturyLink: 800-954-1211
  • Integra: 719-434-4832
  • Cbeyond: 866-424-5100

Analog devices 

Power: These machines run on AC power and do not have battery back-up devices. If there is no power on the machine you will need to check to make sure the machine is plugged in to a live outlet.

Dial Tone: The dial tone on your fax can either be dedicated or run through your phone system. If you can dial out directly without entering an 8 or 9 to get dial tone then your fax machine may be dedicated. Check to make sure you hear dial tone on the line. If there is no dial tone then your carrier will need to be notified of the issue. If you must dial an 8 or 9 to get an outside line then your fax machine/credit card goes through your phone system and you need to contact West-Tech to look at the issue.