Robert Carter has almost four decades of experience in the telecommunications industry and is the vice president of commercial sales for the Southern Division of Comcast Business Services. A veteran of both residential and business telecommunications, Carter is focused now on the aggressive growth of the commercial business of the company.
Q. How might a business be able to benefit by adding a VoIP or a digital voice service?
The digital services are clearly more feature-rich, and there are a lot more choices as to the type of features that businesses can use. It also raises security to a higher level; it just brings a higher level of assurance to the small business. But the speed and the features that are provided, that are available through the IP technology itself, clearly are something that even the small businesses are starting to take for granted.
Q. What should a business owner or executive consider before converting from a traditional network to a VoIP network?
Business owners have more choices today than ever before, and it would behoove them to take the time and, from a technology standpoint, ask themselves about the status of their business. Do they have enough business lines to handle their needs? Are they getting the speed that they need? Do they have enough connectivity? Every so often, they should just take a step back and assess where and what their technology is.
Q. What do you see in the future for VoIP services?
Today, we have a Voice over IP service that is, essentially, one to eight lines of service for the small business user. That includes the vast majority of small businesses. But we will also be evolving more into a PBX (private branch exchange) trunking type of service. That is in development. We’re taking a more aggressive use of our existing fiber optic network to deliver services to companies that will be able to provide much greater speeds and quality of Ethernet-based services. This isn’t an experiment. This is major commitment.