Lessons in IP voice

Over the past few weeks, we at Cabling Installation & Maintenance surveyed some of our subscribers who are owners/managers of structured cabling systems.

by Patrick McLaughlin, Chief Editor

Over the past few weeks, we at Cabling Installation & Maintenance surveyed some of our subscribers who are owners/managers of structured cabling systems. Perhaps some of you reading this today remember taking our survey in November. The survey covered a variety of topics, including these professionals’ use of information products (ours and others) as well as the current and future status of their structured cabling systems.

In the coming months, we’ll bring you more information about what the survey revealed. In fact, as I write this I’m awaiting more revelations, because the survey will be open another few days. So, the results I’m currently observing may yet change. Even so, I want to point out one statistic from the early returns, even though I’m fully aware the ultimate numbers could change (think, Al Gore’s ill-advised concession in the 2000 presidential election followed by weeks of recount hysteria).

In one part of the survey, we asked participants to tell us whether they are currently using certain technologies and applications. If they’re not currently using these applications, we asked if they are planning to use them within the next 12 months, or if they might use them more than a year from now. Respondents to the survey also had the option of telling us they either do not plan to, or do not know whether they’ll use these applications/technologies.

When the application in question was Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), 37% let us know they’re using it right now. Another 23% said they plan to use it within the next year. And 18% said perhaps sometime down the road. That leaves 22% who said they don’t plan to use VoIP, or are not sure whether VoIP is in their future.

From what I have been told, many of the latter 22% may indeed find themselves deploying VoIP, whether they want to or not, as PBX suppliers phase out legacy products and shift exclusively to IP-based offerings. I remember interviewing a telecommunications administrator who said some of his colleagues transitioned to VoIP “kicking and screaming.” But transition they did.

This month, Cabling Installation & Maintenance will present an online seminar on VoIP and cabling issues. It will be conducted live on Thursday, December 13 and available in archive after that date. Topics of discussion in the seminar will include assessing an existing infrastructure for VoIP readiness, using Power over Ethernet to support VoIP, and testing procedures for VoIP systems.

Whether you’re going into VoIP willingly or unwillingly, you might benefit from tuning in.

PATRICK McLAUGHLIN
Chief Editor
patrick@pennwell.com

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