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Telecommuting Benefit 4: Savings

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Telecommuting, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

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We’ve now discussed three benefits of VoIP telecommuting: better employees, increased employee retention, and productivity. Today let’s take a look at the savings that results from telecommuting.

Supporting individual telecommuters is much more cost-effective than supporting entire offices that require more hardware, furniture, even office space.

VoIP telecommuting via gloCOM makes it even more cost-effective with less spending and lower rates. It is simple to set-up gloCOM anywhere in the world with no need for special equipment or services. This is especially beneficial in countries where the company is not physically present or familiar with service providers.

Finally, telecommuting is often temporary, allowing companies to scale up and down as the budget allows.

To learn more or get started with gloCOM, visit our website or contact us today!

View all posts in this series:

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5 Considerations to Moving Your Business VoIP System

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Support, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

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Moving a business is often a lengthy and complicated process. While VoIP technology certainly means less hardware and cables to move, it still involves some planning and forethought. So the big question is : to take the VoIP System along or start over at the new address?

Take It or Leave It : Moving Your Business VoIP System from Ziff Davis addresses that question and offers five considerations to take into account when making the decision.

1. Circumstances Around Your Move

Take the VoIP System if : The move is well organized or planned in advance. The business is being merged or relocated to somewhere without a VoIP System.

Leave the VoIP System if : The move is spur-of-the-moment or disorganized. The business is being merged somewhere with a better system.

2. Type of Environment

Take the VoIP System if : The new environment is similar or smaller than the current.

Leave the VoIP System if : The new environment is a shared space or an expanded space.

3. Your Phone System

Take the VoIP System if : You are still satisfied with your system and it is still a newer system. The system includes better applications than the competition.

Leave the VoIP System if : You are no longer satisfied with the system or have been wanting to change or expand. The system does not include the newest applications and capabilities.

4. Changing Communications Needs

Take the VoIP System if : The current system will continue to serve you for the next several years; if it is flexible and expandable.

Leave the VoIP System if : The move is about making change or growing and expanding.

5. What VoIP Vendors Can Offer

Take the VoIP System if : Your VoIP Provider offers options and deals to migrate the system to your new location.

Leave the VoIP System if : Other VoIP Providers are offering something more lucrative.

To read more, see Take It or Leave It : Moving Your Business VoIP System from Ziff Davis.

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5 Reasons to Choose On-Premise PBX

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP Phone, PBX System, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

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We discussed some of the benefits of a Cloud PBX System in a previous blog post, so today we’ll discuss the benefits of choosing an On-Premise PBX system.

#1 OWNERSHIP

Traditionally, phone systems have always been purchased and owned. If this precedent has worked well for your business, there is no reason to change now. Owning an on-premise system gives control and peace-of-mind to the company. It is one more company asset that cannot be changed or taken away.

#2 CONTROL

Along the same lines as ownership, an onsite pbx system puts the control into the hands of the company. The in-house IT team can manage and customize the solution to fit current needs and even specific users. With all of the new features offered by VoIP, it only makes sense to have the control to use and change them as you wish.

#3 COST

While some companies will shy away from the larger up-front cost of an on-premise system, others will appreciate making a one-time investment. Unlike hosted systems, on-premise will not require monthly rent or other fees. On-Premise VoIP is less expensive than Legacy because it is software, rather than hardware, based.

#4 PARTNER RELATIONSHIPS

If you already have a good relationship with your providers there is no reason to change now. Your provider already has experience and knowledge of your company, users, and communication patterns. An onsite PBX solution allows you to stay with the same provider rather than start from scratch with a new vendor.

#5 IT TEAM

Companies switching from legacy to VoIP likely already have an experienced IT team in place. An on-premise system allows them to continue their current duties and carry the company through the transition to VoIP. Entrusting the new system to the current IT team will ensure a smooth transition.

In conclusion, there are many benefits to choosing an On-Premise Based PBX system. However there is a caveat; VoIP systems are inherently more complicated than legacy systems. They come with the advantage of an interface GUI to deal with this; however, the core skills to manage the network remain critical. The provider of your legacy system may not be familiar with these skills.

There are benefits to both On-Premise and Hosted systems depending on the needs of your company. To learn more, read 5 Reasons to Deploy a On-Premise Based VoIP System from Ziff Davis.

More posts like this one:

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5 More Benefits of VoIP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, Softphone, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

Benefits of VoIP

We all know the two major benefits of VoIP: It saves time and it saves money. But as VoIP continues gaining popularity those become less exciting and more normal expectations. Fortunately, VoIP touts many other benefits too. Here are just a few…

1. Call routing & automation

Today everyone has experience automated menus on the phone. While we may complain about these systems at times, think back to before when calls would just go to voicemail, or, even worse, ring perpetually. Call routing is much more efficient.

2. Even playing field for SMBs

One of the best things about VoIP is that it evens the playing field for even the smallest companies. VoIP is scalable and can give a small company just what they need and then grow with them.

3. No geographic restrictions

VoIP can give you local phone numbers and inexpensive long-distance calling, breaking traditional geographic boundaries. Even the smallest companies can expand geographically with a simple VoIP system.

4. Less maintenance

Hosted VoIP is managed, at least partially, if not fully, but the service provider. This means no need for maintenance or big IT teams for your company. Updates will be taken care of by the provider, taking that stress off of you.

5. Mobility

An increasing popular option, VoIP allows for mobility. Our gloCOM business soft phone is available for desktop or mobile phone, making your office portable. Gone are the days of losing time and missing calls when on the road or at home.

Read more at VoIP News or contact us to get started on your VoIP journey today!v

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5 Steps to VoIP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

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VoIP is quickly replacing premise telephony. Now is the time to take the leap and migrate to VoIP. While it may seem a daunting task, a little planning and preparation make it plausible. Ziff Davis wrote Five Key Success Factors to help you get started on the road to VoIP. We summarize those steps below.

1. The first step towards VoIP is considering each involved party: the executives or owners, the employees, and the IT team

The first will want to be assured that VoIP will be worth the cost and stress of migrating. Study up on the benefits of VoIP so you can win their support. Employees will be the primary users of the system. Think about their daily communicating habits and how VoIP can benefit them. Finally, consider your company’s IT team and what type of system it can support. Some deployment models call for more IT support than others. Which brings us to the next step…

2. Choose a deployment model: Premise, Cloud, or Hybrid

Premise VoIP is the most similar to legacy and thus a less radical transition. However it is also more expensive and requires more maintenance and support. We talked about the benefits of Cloud or Hosted VoIP in our previous post. It is a less costly and less involved option. Finally, Hybrid is just what it sound like – a combination of the previous two. This may be ideal for a company that is not ready to part with their premise hardware, but wants to add some VoIP capabilities.

3. Choose a VoIP Provider

Once you know what kind of VoIP solution your company wants, it is time to find a provider. Today’s market allows you to shop around, so take your time and find a provider that fits your needs.

4. Prepare for implementation

The implementation period can be stressful and long, so make sure your company is prepared beforehand. Work with your provider to establish a clear plan with deadlines, contacts, and sufficient testing. Do not accept that implementation is complete until the service is functioning as you expected. Make sure all of the users know how to use the system as well.

5. Prepare for journey

Finally, the last step is to adopt an open-mind and prepare yourself for the inevitable bumps in the road. In the scheme of things VoIP is still a relatively new technology; and more importantly, it is ever-changing. Remember that the changes and risk mean new features and capabilities. These will be not only beneficial to your company, but vital to keeping up with the market.

Are you ready to start? Contact us today!

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2 Tips to More Profit

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in VoIP, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

voip profit

Would you like to discover the secret to selling VoIP more easily? Gain a competitive edge and multiply your profit?

We’ve created a FREE fact sheet with 2 secrets to becoming the number one VoIP service provider in your field!

Whether you are looking to start offering VoIP services or to improve your existing revenue and reduce your churn, click here to download your free fact sheet now.

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VoIP: On-Premise vs Hosted (Cloud) vs Hybrid

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Cloud Services, Hosted PBX, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

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In our previous post we listed 5 reasons to migrate to VoIP. If you have made the decision to switch to VoIP, the next step is choosing between an on-premise, hosted, or hybrid solution.

Here’s the difference between the three:

On-Premise VoIP is a good option for larger companies that want more control over their telephony solution. While some companies will benefit from managing their system in-house, smaller companies may not have enough staff or budget for this option. On-Premise VoIP involves a large up-front investment, but then the system belongs to the company.

Hosted (Cloud) VoIP is the opposite of on-premise. The system is owned and managed by a Service Provider company that rents it on a monthly basis. This is a better option for smaller companies that do not have a large up-front budget or a large IT staff. Cloud VoIP is less expensive in the beginning, but may be more expensive in the long run due to monthly payments.

Hybrid VoIP is a combination of the above two options. A typical hybrid VoIP solution would mean a hosted system run on a premise server and hardware. This brings in the best of both worlds and is an attractive option to growing companies that have some money to invest but do not want to purchase and manage an entire system.

Which option is right for your company? We recommend you do research a variety of solutions and Service Providers to find the best match for your company.

Get started on the Bicom Systems products page or sign-up for a FREE Account Manager to guide you in the transition to VoIP.

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5 Reasons Why Even SMBs Should Use VoIP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

All too often it is large businesses that have all the advantages and many SMBs assume the same is true when it comes to VoIP. But Ziff Davis brings us 5 reasons why SMBs should be using VoIP too.

#1 VOIP IS A SERVICE

VoIP is a service, not a product, which makes it accessible to any kind of business. Unlike legacy systems that came in a one-size-fits-all (or does NOT fit, in the case of many small businesses), VoIP solutions are flexible and can be customized to fit even SMBs.

#2 VOIP DOES NOT REQIURE A SWITCHED SYSTEM

Many SMBs incorrectly assume they will need an expensive switched system to use VoIP. While this may be the best option for larger businesses, it is not necessary. Other options like a Key Telephone System are available for small business at a significantly lower price.

#3 VOIP DOES NOT REQUIRE A FULL IT TEAM

Legacy systems necessitate a fully trained IT team to manage the separate voice and data networks and implementations. VoIP eliminates the need for a voice network and can be run without much IT support. Hosted or Cloud systems take implementation and support out of the hands of the SMB and allow individual users to manage their own line.

#4 VOIP DOES NOT REQUIRE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT

SMBs that are hesitant to make large purchases with a long-term commitment can use VoIP on a month-to-month basis without a contract. This removes the risk of being stuck with a system that is not working for your small business. VoIP allows you to back out at anytime if it is not working.

#5 VOIP OPENS MORE OPTIONS

Incumbent providers have always catered to large businesses with SMBs as an afterthought. VoIP has so many options that even the smallest businesses can find a perfect-fit. With VoIP the customer is in charge of their solution. VoIP also opens the door to non-local solutions that can be purchased and maintained online.

In conclusion, there is no reason for SMBs to feel left out in the world of VoIP. With a solution available for any size of business, now is the time to make the switch! To learn more visit Why Your Business is Not Too Small for VoIP from Ziff Davis.

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How to Choose a New Provider after Nortel

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Nortel, PBX System, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

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Are you ready to move on from Nortel and BCM 50 but unsure how to choose a new provider? Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist from Ziff Davis provides five guidelines to keep in mind as you compare providers after leaving Nortel Networks (also known as Nortel Norstar or Meridian Phone Systems):

1. VoIP Pedigree The VoIP market is full of newcomers with offers that will dazzle and impress. Be cautious and look for an experienced company that has a long and positive track record. Read case studies and ask for references.

2. Core Business Most telephony companies have more than once focus; look for a company that is committed to phone systems and that shares your outlook on telephony. Find a company that will innovate and progress but continue offering what you need.

3. Range of Features As you dive into the world of VoIP for the first time do some research on the options and features available. You are going to want to stay with the same telephony provider for a long time, so make sure they have everything you need and want.

4. Customer Base Does the provider usually serve large enterprises? SMBS? Is there niche a specific industry like hospitality, medical, or government? Seek a provider with customers similar to your own company so that they will understand your business needs and obstacles.

5. Viability This is going to be a big move – go with a provider that will be around for many years to come. Ask about the provider’s financial situation and their plan for the next several years. Pay attention to how the company is doing and choose one that appears to be viable in the world of ever-changing technology.

Ready to get started? Talk to one of our experienced Account Managers about upgrading to PBXware today! With a fast & easy setup, PBXware encompasses the most advanced technologies and unified communications features along with an understanding Account Manager to help you with the transition and beyond. Just email us at sales@bicomsystems.com today!

Additional Reading:

What Happened to Nortel?

How to Move On From Nortel

Five Reasons to Upgrade from Nortel to PBXware KeySystem

Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist by Ziff Davis.

There’s Life After Your Nortel PBX from VoIP News

Or talk to an experienced Account Manager by emailing sales@bicomsystems.com

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Call Back Option

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Products, Support, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

It is often difficult to provide lucrative and cost-effective solutions to end users in more distant or remote locations. Whether it’s a lack of infrastructure, government-regulation of VoIP, or a major difference in costs, these discrepancies and distances sometimes lead to a loss of potential clients. Unless you use Bicom Systems Call Back Option, that is.

Our Call Back Option gives Service Providers a way to offer inexpensive calling options to end users without the installation of hardware and phone lines in their home country. By using the Call Back Option, end users in other countries can still access the U.S. or Europe-based solution without special equipment or phone lines.

To start saving and reaching more customers today, contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com.

 
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CLEC – Competitive Local Exchange Carriers

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in CLEC, VoIP, VoIP Providers

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What is a CLEC?

Competitive Local Exchange Carriers – better known as CLEC – are communication providers that compete with the local incumbent providers. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 made it possible for smaller companies – now known as CLECs – to compete with incumbent providers. They generally offer the same services at a lower price.

Bicom Systems offers tools and products to support CLECs or to start your own CLEC as an ITSP.

How to Start a CLEC

In order to start a CLEC, you need to make some key decisions about the company, followed by a certification process. The first step is to decide whether the CLEC will be facilities-based or resale. After making that decision, the CLEC must undergo certification in the state(s) where it will offer services. The certification process varies by state, but tends to include the following steps:

  1. Create a legal entity

  2. File the CLEC in the state(s) where it will offer services

  3. Participate in a public hearing

  4. File a tariff

After certification, the CLEC will begin negotiation with an ILEC and eventually setup a connection and begin to offer services.

CLEC vs. ILEC

ILECs are Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers that compete against CLECs and existed prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.Another good source of information on how to start a CLEC can be found at voip-info.org.

We have a similar article on How to Start an ITSP. In today’s market, any CLEC must consider its route to ITSP.

For more information, see our product package specifically for CLEC: CLEC Product Package

Also, visit our CLEC wiki – What is a CLEC – CLEC Florida

 
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How to Choose Between VoIP and Unified Communications

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Company, Support, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

As the world of telephony has evolved over the past few decades we are faced with an ever increasing number of decisions on what kind of system to use. The move from legacy telephony to a VoIP or Unified Communications is a big jump that requires thought and understanding. How to Choose Between VoIP and Unified Communications from Ziff Davis discusses the difference between the two options and is an important tool to making an informed decision.

The article discusses 5 considerations to keep in mind when choosing between VoIP and Unified Communications.

  1.  What is driving the need in your business?
    If your business is looking to cut costs, VoIP is the clear choice. It will mean a much lower cost while not causing a huge change for users. The savings are seen almost immediately.On the other hand, if your business is looking for the newest features and capabilities in order to increase productivity and efficiency, Unified Communications is a good option for ‘the latest and the greatest’.

  2.  What is driving the need for IT and your network?
    The switch to VoIP can be adjusted according to your company’s budget. If the budget allows for it, you can do a gradual shift to the new system and even get new hardware. But if the goal is to save money, you can do a minimal switch.Unified Communications will almost certainly involve a financial investment to get started, but be more feature-rich and effective in the long run. UC will require more support from IT to maintain and run.

  3. What are the needs of your employees?
    If your company does not want to make a major change for users and plans to continue user desk phones, VoIP is the best choice. It allows the company to take a step forward while not causing a drastic change for the employees.If employees are ready for more usability and change, Unified Communications will offer them a more features and tools. With training employees will adapt quickly.

  4. What are the needs of management?
    As we’ve repeated again and again, VoIP would be the best option of management is considered with saving money. Costs can be cut drastically and quickly.But if management is interested in increasing employee productivity, Unified Communications will allow more options and features. This is a strategic decision not based directly on price.

  5. What are the needs of the vendor?
    Vendors and service providers are gradually moving towards Unified Communications, but VoIP is still the more common offering. This is an opportunity to become the incumbent vendor.Always remember that you ‘get what you pay for.’ Choosing an extremely inexpensive system will probably come back to hurt you in the end.

Overall, it is important to learn as much as possible about all the options and make an informed decision. To read more, see How to Choose Between VoIP and Unified Communications from Ziff Davis.

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Bicom Systems Announces Strategic Partnership with VOIP INNOVATIONS

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Call Center PBX, IP Telephony, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Press Releases, VoIP, VoIP Innovations, VoIP Providers

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PITTSBURGH (7 August 2013) – Bicom Systems is pleased to announce its partnership with VoIP Innovations in order to combine our expertise and better serve the market with a synergy of telecommunication services.

VoIP Innovations, a Wholesale VoIP Provider based in Pittsburgh, “aggregates services from the nation’s largest telecom providers to give our customers the low Wholesale VoIP rates and network footprint needed to be competitive.” With more than 20 years of experience, VoIP Innovations is a leader in the market and serves customers around the world.

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Why should we choose PBXware MultiTenant PBX vs IPSMARX Multi Tenant PBX? (Part I : Limitations)

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, IP Phone, IP Telephony, ITSP, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

It is always with caution that one should speak of competitors and their products when clearly they are better able to do so themselves. All the more so with IPSMARX, given how IPSMARX has positioned itself ‘as’ Bicom Systems. I have though wondered more and more why they do so up against PBXware MultiTenant PBX. Here are some reasons that might help with understandings:

I am demanded to reply to this question orally on a weekly basis and it seems only right to write. Curious about this question too is the clear circumstances in which it is asked. These can be described in three categories: i) Existing users of IPSMARX’s Multi-Tenant PBX who have had reason to look further ii) New Providers looking to start a business line with little resource iii) Well established businesses either ITSPs, VARs or Long Established Sellers of Phone Systems.

For the first group, customers have dial tone. However the Service Provider’s hands are now so filled with the running of their business that the cost of keeping the system becomes all consuming. Very noticeable is with how few extensions on the system and the pain threshold seems to bite. So often, fewer than 100 subscribers – a pocketful of customers. A customer wants a Queue, a Conference, an IVR… then “surely this should need no more effort than a check-box selection to solve everything from the feature’s creation to the monthly invoice going out ?” Surely it should not need custom programming from the switch provider for each small tweak? There also are issues of support. Again the sheer stress that happens once ‘real customers’ come on board and previously naive dreams are exposed. Answers need to be found immediately both to ‘how do I do x,y,z ?’ questions and less often bugs or critical failings. Increasingly the need for integration to the desktop is a make or break to getting End User businesses.

Whether in the form of onsite systems from the Traditional Vendors or the large Internet Telephony Service Providers often using Broadsoft platforms the market at large expects standard offerings to have presence, chat and more at the finger tips. Mobility is next. Not just a breeze blowing softly but rushing winds. A simple SIP client is not where the world will be. Mobility means the user should be an integral part of the local switch.

What has also been learned through the school of hard knocks is problems that the next customer wants something unique. You never quite know what and unless the system is inherently flexible you will be left just listening to the screams. For some though there is the matter of scalability. To simply ‘add another server’ and ‘stick on another few hundred customers’ is not enough. All the customers need to be brought together in a single interface to be found easily and redundancy needs to be in clusters often with the options of dual location.

If you found this useful or can add please feel free to post, Parts II (Cost of Entry) & III (It has to work and it has to do more) are to follow and of course our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP.

Other Articles on IPSMARX:

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What is Multi-Tenancy?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, Products, Virtual PBX, VoIP, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

Multi-Tenancy architecture allows multiple users to operate in the same ‘Cloud’. It is an economical way to serve many End Users at once. Single-Tenancy, on the other hand, refers to an architecture that provides one solution for one single user.

Multi-tenancy is defined as a “share instance”, which contrasts with traditional “multiple instances”. Multiple instances involves a separate application instance for each client. Each client will need their own server, memory, configuration, etc. However, a share instance involves just one single application instance that is used by a number of clients. Users share the server, database, etc.

Benefits include an economic advantage, simplicity, and ease-of-use. For example, when software needs to be updated in a traditional environment, each machine must undergo the update. But in a share instance, just one update to the one instance is required. This saves both time and money.

Multi-tenancy is becoming increasingly popular in today’s market of cloud computing and virtualization. The idea of sharing resources with other tenants is very appealing to businesses thinking of budgets and efficiency.

Bicom Systems offers a perfect example of multi-tenancy architure: PBXware in the Multi Tenant PBX edition. MultiTenant PBX gives Telecom Service Providers a powerful platform to serve the IP-PBX market in the cloud as a voip soft switch.

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Multi-Tenant PBX

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Hosted PBX, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, VoIP, VoIP Providers

The Multi-Tenant PBX Edition of PBXware gives Telecom Service Providers a powerful platform to serve the IP-PBX market in the cloud as a voip switch. Unlimited Hosted IP-PBX Multi Tenants, Unlimited resellers, user/company self portal, and LCR are just some of the advanced features included with desktop applications to support. The system may be used as a Class 4 or Class 5 softswitch / voipswitch with multitenancy architecture.

Trying to choose the right platform? See our Multi-Tenant Comparison chart.

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What is a CLEC?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in CLEC, ITSP, VoIP, VoIP Providers

clec

Competitive Local Exchange Carriers – better known as CLEC – are communication providers that compete with the local incumbent providers. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 made it possible for smaller companies – now known as CLECs – to compete with incumbent providers. They generally offer the same services at a lower price.