Copper, Cable or SIP Trunks…which is best for your Phone System?

In the July 2014 Connecticut Communications Newsletter, read all about the difference between analog copper lines, cable company lines and SIP trunks.

As you know, the world is transforming to IP based service, but is that right for your business right now?

Your current phone system or new VoIP Unified Communications phone system can integrate with all the various types of phone line service.  Read the newsletter to see which service is right for your business.  Still confused after reading it?  Reach out to a representative from Connecticut Communications for a free face to face discussion.

Copper, Cable or SIP for Phone System?

Copper Lines:  In 1878, the phone company started using copper pairs to connect telephones to the central office.  Today, AT&T is getting out of the copper line business in Connecticut, selling their copper infrastructure to Frontier Communications.  Service is delivered by copper lines from the street.

Typical configuration:  Main number (line), followed by additional rollover lines.  Lines cost about $40 each per month.

Good:  When you have a problem with one line, its only one line. You can use the other lines to call out.  Simply busy out the bad line until its repaired.

Bad:  Very difficult to have direct lines for employees.  You can get one line and direct it to a phone, but the next caller gets a busy signal.

Ugly:  Copper is going away.  Caller ID is extra.


Cable Lines:  In 2005, Comcast started offering voice lines to customers.  The lines use VoIP to transmit voice and digitally stream the voice down to a cable modem where the signal is converted to analog.  Service is delivered over coax cable.

Typical configuration:  Same as copper lines.  Main number (line), followed by additional rollover lines.  Lines cost about $40 each per month.

Good:  Unlimited Long Distance.  Caller ID included.

Bad:  Same as Copper with direct lines.  Cable companies have terrible customer service, especially with voice service because they are new to the game.

Ugly:  Cable lines do not provide a loop current disconnect, something phone systems rely on so it knows when a caller hangs up.  This results in lines not disconnecting.  The fix?  Power cycle your cable modem.   You may experience dropped calls or no audio.  This is result of the cable company trying to convert VoIP to analog.  The fix?  Power cycle your cable modem.

SIP Trunks:  SIP trunking is a Voice over Internet Protocol that delivers voice service over the internet.

Typical configuration:  Call Paths.  Simply decide the number of simultaneous calls you need.  Telephone numbers are virtual and ring in over the internet circuit through a call path.

Good: Caller ID included.  Users can have direct numbers very inexpensively (less $1 per month).  Since individual numbers use the same call paths, no busy signal for additional callers.  VoIP is the backbone of all future phone calls, no conversion to analog is necessary.  If you lose internet connection, service can automatically route calls to another telephone number.

Bad:  Can be expensive for small companies that have a phone system since you need to pay for a T-1 circuit. 

Ugly:   Your phone system must be configured properly for the specific carrier SIP trunks, otherwise you may experience ‘no audio’ and ‘dropped calls’.


Talk to your Connecticut Communications representative to discuss the best option for your business.