Frequently Asked Questions about Integrated Access

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1 Frequently Asked Questions about Integrated Access Phone Service How are local, long distance, and international calls defined? Local access transport areas (LATAs) are geographical boundaries set by the federal government. These LATAs determine local calling areas. A call is considered local if it is an intralata call (within your local access transport area) and within your state. Calls outside your LATA (interlata calls) or outside your state are considered long distance. U.S. long distance calling includes all 50 states. Calls outside of the U.S. are billed using our international calling rates. Calls to Canada and Puerto Rico are considered international. What are the rates for local, long distance, and international calls? Local calls There is no charge for local calls. Long distance U.S. long distance calls are currently charged at 4 cents per minute or select a calling plan with 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, or 18,000 monthly long distance minutes (rates as low as 2.2 cents per minute). Excess minutes are charged at 4 cents per minute. Unused minutes from one month do not "roll over" to the next month. International calls The international rate sheet is available at Toll-free calls Inbound toll-free calls from the U.S. and Canada are currently charged at 4 cents per minute. Covad toll-free numbers do not accept calls from outside the U.S. and Canada. Is faxing supported? Covad Integrated Access can support fax transmissions of up to three 20-page documents per hour. Companies with heavy fax requirements should maintain a separate stand-alone analog phone line for faxing. Fax machines should be set at 9600 BAUD for optimal results. Customers should refer to their fax machine manual for instructions on changing the BAUD rate. Covad Integrated Access service uses the G.711 codec and does not support the T.38 protocol. What if I exceed the recommended faxing limits? Covad has successfully tested fax transmissions of 20 pages at a frequency of three times an hour. It is possible that higher usage may work, but it has not been tested. If you exceed the recommended faxing limit, it is possible that a fax may fail to complete properly or extra image lines may be added to the transmission. The more pages in a faxed document, and the more frequently documents are faxed, the greater the likelihood that this will occur. Why are there issues with faxing over IP networks? Fax transmissions over IP networks are not very tolerant of latency or congestion. Fax packets over an IP network use UDP and are not automatically re-transmitted if there are errors. Missing packets can sometimes cause the fax to fail completely. If this happens, the customer can simply re-fax it. Covad is a MegaPath brand. For Customer Support, call MEGA 1

2 Are alarm systems or point-of-sale (POS) systems supported? No. Covad strongly recommends that customers maintain a separate analog phone line for point-of-sale systems and alarm systems. Can our company use an auto dialer or predictive dialer with the service? No. The use of auto dialers or predictive dialers is prohibited with Covad Integrated Access service. Does the Covad Integrated Access solution have the ability to block or restrict incoming or outgoing calls? No. Integrated Access service does not block incoming or outgoing calls on specific phone lines or phone numbers, but this feature may be available through your PBX system. Please note that Integrated Access automatically blocks outgoing calls from your toll-free phone numbers only calls to 911 are allowed from a toll-free number. Equipment What PBX systems do you support? The Covad Integrated Access service supports a variety of analog, digital, and IP-PBXs. The service will work with most analog and digital PBX systems, and a fast-growing list of IP-PBX systems. What is the supported codec for the Covad Integrated Access service? Covad uses the G.711 codec to help ensure optimal voice quality. How much bandwidth does the G.711 codec use? The G.711 uses pulse code modulation (PCM) of voice frequencies on a 64 Kbps channel and consumes approximately 106 Kbps per voice call. What type of equipment is provided with the Covad Integrated Access service? Covad provides the Cisco 2431 and Samsung IBG 1003 Integrated Access Devices (IADs) if you have an analog system or a digital PBX. We supply a Cisco 1841 or a Samsung IBG 1000 T1 router if you have an IP-PBX. IP-PBX Equipment Do I have to use the Network Time Protocol (NTP) server in the IP-PBX configuration? Yes. The NTP server must be configured in the IP-PBX to keep the date/time in sync between the Covad voice network and the IP-PBX so that phone usage is accurately reflected. Covad is a MegaPath brand. For Customer Support, call MEGA 2

3 Support Who do I contact when I have questions about my Integrated Access service once it is installed? Call MegaPath Customer Support at MEGA. We can help you make changes to your service, handle billing issues, answer technical questions, and more. What do I do if I need to move my office location, add phone lines, or make other changes to my service after it's installed? If you need to make changes or additions to your service after it is operational, contact MegaPath at , option 1. Who do I contact if I have a billing issue? Call MegaPath at , option 5, for assistance. Can I pay my monthly bill by credit card? You can change your billing option from invoice to credit card or electronic funds transfer by logging into your MegaPath Customer Portal. Can our company change the phone number listed on our Caller ID? Yes. Contact MegaPath at , option 1. How can I add another business location to my existing Integrated Access service? Contact MegaPath at , option 1. What if I'm moving my office location? What happens to my Integrated Access service? Call MegaPath at , option 1, to verify that Integrated Access service is available at your new location. The customer support representative can handle the details of moving your Integrated Access service. Technical Details How are phone numbers treated with an analog PBX or key telephone system? Covad Integrated Access supports a standard dial-peer plan. All numbers are shared. Incoming calls on any company phone number will ring on the first available phone. Each user must have an extension programmed by the key system or PBX. What is my network layout with Integrated Access added to it? Covad provides equipment (either an IAD or a router, depending on your PBX equipment) to connect your network to the Covad network. The IAD or router is configured to support two separate subnets in your environment one for voice and one for data. Covad is a MegaPath brand. For Customer Support, call MEGA 3

4 Is there any inter-routing between the voice and data subnets? No. There is no inter-routing between the two subnets, because this would allow data transfers to potentially affect the quality of the voice service. Can I request that Covad set up the router so that all traffic goes over a single interface (commonly referred to as 802.1Q trunking)? No. This is not a supported configuration. What VoIP protocols does Covad use? The Covad Integrated Access service supports only session initiation protocol (SIP) as the signaling protocol to access and utilize the trunks for termination to and from the public switched telephone network (PSTN). How many public IP addresses are provided? You can choose the number of IP addresses you need for your situation. For example, if you request 8 IPs, Covad will provide you with 5 usable IP addresses for your data subnet. If you have an analog or digital PBX system, Covad will assign an additional public IP address to your integrated access device (IAD). If you have an IP-PBX, Covad provides 13 usable IP addresses for your voice subnet. If your IP-PBX does not function as an application layer gateway (ALG), you will need to assign one IP address for each phone on your voice subnet. Check with your PBX vendor to determine if your IP-PBX utilizes ALG. If you need additional IP addresses, you can request them when you place your order. An IP address justification form will be required. Are the IP settings on the data and voice network interfaces static or DHCP? The IP addresses can be acquired via DHCP or can be specifically assigned from the range of public IP addresses that Covad allotted to you. If you have an IP-PBX, Covad recommends that you specifically assign one of your IP addresses to it. Addresses for the phones can either be acquired through DHCP or specifically designated, whichever you prefer. Please note that if you choose to assign static IP addresses to the phones, you will also have to assign static IP addresses to the DNS server and NTP server. How much bandwidth is available for phone calls at any given time? Integrated Access phone service capacity is defined by the number of phone lines you purchase as part of your Integrated Access service. If someone calls your business when all your voice bandwidth is in use, the caller will hear a busy signal. Callers who dial out when you are using all your voice bandwidth will hear a tone indicating they should try their call again later. When you are using less bandwidth for phone calls, Integrated Access dynamically allocates the extra bandwidth to data traffic until it is needed again for phone calls. How much bandwidth does an internal call take up on the T1 circuit? If the internal call is within the same building (i.e., phones behind one router), the phone conversation doesn't use any circuit bandwidth. The initial signal setup, as the call is dialed, uses a minimal amount of bandwidth as the voice switch in our core network prepares for action. But after the conversation starts, the packets stay within the building. So, if two cube Covad is a MegaPath brand. For Customer Support, call MEGA 4

5 neighbors are talking to one another and the circuit goes down, their conversation will remain in progress. How does Covad handle security on voice calls? Security concerns can be divided into three areas: 1. Security of the phone conversation 2. Security of the end point devices (from hacker attacks) 3. Security of the data network (so voice is not used as a back door to get into the data network) Covad voice traffic is always carried over our private network, not the public Internet. By using this approach, we provide a secure conversation because we restrict access to our network at all times. Local, long distance, and international voice packets generated from a phone at any of our sites traverse the point-to-point T1 line directly to the Covad voice service office (VSO) and are handed off to a carrier who in turn hands the voice traffic to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). These packets never touch the Internet. This is not always the case with other voice over IP (VoIP) providers. By keeping voice traffic on our private network, we also make it harder for anyone to reach end point devices such as IP phones, routers, or switches. We manage the traffic that goes to the end points and ensure that only voice traffic that we can recognize gets to those end points. This helps fend off end point attacks. At the Covad VSO, unrequested voice traffic is blocked at the gateway. Because we allow only legitimate voice traffic to reach the end points, it makes it very hard to use the end point as a back door to the data network. In addition, Covad configures two separate subnets at your location one for voice and one for data. This helps ensure that issues can be isolated if a problem is encountered. Terminology What is voice-optimized access (VOA)? Covad uses the term voice-optimized access (VOA) for the technology we use to prioritize voice traffic over data traffic on the Covad network. This helps ensure superb voice quality all the way from your phone to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). What is dynamic bandwidth allocation? Dynamic bandwidth allocation provides automated bandwidth management so that the traffic on a single broadband link is allocated to voice or data as needed. Because most users do not transmit high volumes of data at all times and because voice traffic is more sensitive to delays than data traffic, dynamic bandwidth allocation allows inbound and outbound phone calls to take priority over data traffic, assuring consistently high voice quality and providing you more value from a single T1 connection. What is a dial peer? A dial peer is another name for a call end point or destination, usually a phone. An end point can be any device that can originate or receive a call. Covad is a MegaPath brand. For Customer Support, call MEGA 5

6 What is a codec? A codec (compressor/decompressor) is a program or piece of equipment that can compress signals, such as voice and video, into a digital data stream for transmission. Codecs are used because a compressed file takes up less storage space and can be transferred across a network more quickly and smoothly. What is SIP? SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It is a signaling protocol used for establishing sessions in an IP network. SIP creates, modifies, and terminates "sessions" with one or more participants. A session could be a simple two-way telephone call or a collaborative multimedia conference session. SIP invitations are used to create sessions and carry information that allows participants to agree on a set of compatible media types. SIP makes use of elements called proxy servers to help route requests to users' current locations, authenticate and authorize users for services, implement provider call-routing policies, and provide features to users. SIP also provides a registration function that allows users to upload their current locations to the proxy servers. SIP is the protocol of choice for signaling for VoIP traffic. It establishes and terminates voice "calls" flexibly and efficiently and minimizes hardware requirements and recurring network charges associated with traditional phone service, thus reducing costs while maintaining features and quality. What is SIP trunking? A SIP trunk is a logical connection between an IP-PBX and a service provider's application servers that allows VoIP traffic to be exchanged between the two. When a call is placed from an internal phone to an external number, the PBX sends the necessary information to the SIP trunk provider, who establishes the call to the dialed number and acts as an intermediary for the call. All signaling and voice traffic between the PBX and the provider is exchanged using SIP and RTP protocol packets over the IP network. What is QoS? Quality of Service. It refers to giving some network traffic higher priority. QoS is based on the fact that some traffic is more resilient. Voice traffic is not resilient because it is time sensitive. Ideally, time-sensitive traffic (like phone calls) should be given priority over less sensitive traffic (like ) to ensure the timely delivery and quality of the voice conversation. To implement QoS, you must first classify what high-priority traffic is, then handle that traffic better than the low-priority traffic. There are many companies that cannot provide QoS in their voice network. Covad does, and we do it throughout the entire network, from customer phone to our switch and onto the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Covad is a MegaPath brand. For Customer Support, call MEGA 6

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