Long Distance Changes Coming to Eagle Mountain
August 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Starting with the September 2013 billing period, Direct Communications Long Distance rates will be even better value. We will now only offer two long distance plans—$0.10 per minute with no monthly fee, or a bucket of 1000 minutes for $29.95 a month.
Why are we changing plans?
Not only are we changing our rates, but also the way we send long distance traffic across the country. Recently, the big national carriers who sell wholesale long distance service to small companies like us raised their wholesale rates to over $0.20 per minute. This basically puts all small independents out of the old fashioned long distance business, because we know our customers will not want to pay over $0.20 per minute for long distance.
Our only viable solution to keep providing our customers with reasonable long distance rates is to begin delivering all long distance traffic from our switch in Eagle Mountain to the national providers as digital IP traffic over the internet backbone. This will not affect or utilize your own home internet service. You will not notice any difference in the way you make long distance calls; this will all happen in the inter-carrier background only after your call leaves Eagle Mountain.
If you want to continue with regular old fashioned, non-digital “switched toll” long distance, please contact one of the national long distance carriers. We will continue to support other carriers’ long distance service over our network. However, be aware that most big carriers now use IP delivery somewhere in their networks anyway.
What do I have to do?
You do not need to do anything. We will be automatically migrating all of our long distance customers to the $0.10 per minute plan on Sep 1. You only need to contact us if you wish to change to our $29.95 per month plan. Please note too that this change will only affect customers currently on Direct Communications Long Distance service. If you are with any other provider for your long distance service, your service with them will continue as usual.
When will I see a change on my bill?
Since your long distance bill is for the previous month’s activity, customers will not see a change until the October bill. You long distance plan will actually change in the billing system to $0.10 per minute on Sep 1, 2013, but those changes will only be shown on your printed bill in October.
What if I currently am in a bundle that includes long distance, like the “Bundle of Joy?”
Any legacy bundles that included long distance will be discontinued. We will be constructing a new customized package for you that includes the $29.95 for 1000 minutes per month, our Top 4 Calling Features Pack, 20Mb High Speed Internet, and unlimited local landline phone service.
What’s the difference between IP Long Distance and Switched Toll ?
There is no difference in delivery method or call quality from our switch in Eagle Mountain to your home phone. The big difference is the method by which we send long distance traffic from our switch to our wholesale provider. In the old days, all long distance was all sent over regular landline toll trunks. The new digital method, which is possible because we installed a new digital switch in Eagle Mountain several years ago, is to convert all long distance voice traffic into bits and bytes and send it over the internet as IP traffic to the national providers. Since most of them utilize IP protocol in their networks now anyway, there really is little difference in quality, especially compared to the low quality delivered on a mobile phone, which is how most long distance calls are made these days. What we have noticed with IP delivery is a drop in the consistency of calls connecting reliably–since this is travelling over the internet, on rare occasions, a call may not reach its destination, so the customer will have to dial again. However, again, this has sadly become the new industry standard, with the national carriers always seeking the cheapest possible call route, which usually involves IP anyway. Most regular toll customers all around the country have seen declines in long distance call quality and reliability. Big carriers like Verizon are in fact even trying to cut costs by routing what is supposed to be more reliable landline long distance calls, over their wireless towers. What used to be a strictly regulated industry has almost become the wild west, with the FCC allowing the big boys to basically do whatever they want to, and the end customer suffers. See https://blog.directcom.com/2012/01/27/calls-not-coming-through-you-are-being-discriminated-against-by-big-national-carriers/
What are my other options?
Google Voice is a great free long distance option. This uses IP calling to connect your home phone to Google’s IP switches, using your home internet service. The trade off: you need to have your computer on to initiate the call, plus there is a rumor going around that Google is not too good at keeping your call records private.
Please call us today at 801 789 2800 if you have any concerns.