Hosted VoIP: A better call?

With hosted VoIP service, schools have no call-routing equipment or software to house, manage, or maintain on site.

As school districts replace their antiquated phone systems, a growing number of districts are choosing hosted, or “managed,” voice-over-IP service. Besides being easier to manage, hosted VoIP service also enables schools to leverage federal eRate discounts more effectively, its supporters say.

Unlike premise-based VoIP service, hosted VoIP is a cloud-based solution that delivers telephone service over the customer’s data network. The customer has no call-routing equipment or software to house, manage, or maintain on site. Many school districts have welcomed the hassle-free nature of hosted VoIP phone service—and many have found that it’s more cost-effective as well, because it’s often eligible for Priority One eRate funding.

“As their old telephone equipment becomes end-of-life, more customers are switching to VoIP because they realize that, long term, that’s where the industry is going. It doesn’t make sense when buying new equipment to buy something that will have a limited lifespan,” said Harry Cook, lead channel manager for AT&T Business Solutions.

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Click here to download the full PDF of the eSN Special Report on Hosted VoIP.

Hosted VoIP solutions, like those offered by AT&T, are easily scalable and can be used by multiple customers at the same time, making them more cost-effective and reliable for many users, Cook said.

“There are some economies of scale here. It should be cheaper than a premise-based solution, and … the customer doesn’t have to worry about fixing or maintaining it themselves,” Cook said.

Three years ago, South Bay Union School District in Eureka, Calif., upgraded the phone system at one of its two school buildings to a hosted VoIP service provided by AT&T.

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