RealTime IT News

NYC CLEC Extends Small Biz Services

Con Edison Communications (CEC), a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, this week introduced PowerCall Plus, an integrated voice and data service designed for small businesses — specifically for those small businesses with 8 to 20 employees operating in New York City.

The new program enables small businesses to merge voice and data services over a single, shared T1 line. This means small businesses with as few as eight employees can take advantage of dedicated connections for high-speed access to the Internet. The services' flexibility enables customers to order up to 24 voice lines while maintaining the ability to use up to a full 1.5 Mbps of data capacity over a shared T1 feed.

PowerCall Plus also gives small businesses the ability to establish a secure connection to their private networks. Moreover, the new services' trunk-side functionality allows small businesses to "oversubscribe" direct inward dialing (DID) numbers, enabling the support of many more voice users than a line-side version.

As an added benefit to small businesses, CEC will provide a single point of contact for all voice and data services, billing, repair, maintenance and support for PowerCall Plus services. Because CEC is a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), it is nimbler than larger incumbent carriers and able to provide fast, responsive services for small businesses.

PowerCall Plus options include 12, 16, 20, or 24 voice lines with either 256Kbps, 512Kbps or 1.54Mbps leased line access to the Internet. These connections require setting up a primary rate interface, which is included. The service also allows for automatic number identification of inbound calls.

Then, there are the add-on services. Small businesses can opt to add up to four analog, plain-old telephone service (POTS) lines for connecting fax machines, conference phones and the like. Also available is a failsafe option that redirects calls to another location or phone number in case a private branch exchange (PBX) goes kaput or a circuit fails. There is also a DID Billing Option — this billing feature enables customers to receive a summary of their billable outbound calls by DID number on their monthly invoice instead of by the Billing Telephone Number (BTN).

PowerCall Plus will be available to New York City customers on July 14. The service is designed for small companies spending about $1,200 a month and up for voice, circuits and usage as well as Internet access.