Can You Hear Me NOW?

Hold the phone! Old landlines may make more sense for your business than new digital VOIP technology

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 1:59 am

Old technology – like the tortoise in the old tortoise-and-the-hare fable – still sometimes ends up crossing the finish line first, even into today’s mind-blowing digital world.

If you want absolutely reliable, never-miss-that-important-call communications for your business, expert Mike Taulli (known as The Phone Guy) will tell you straight out: Old is better.

Don’t cut the cord, he says, old landlines are better for business.

Newer voice over the internet phone systems (called VOIP) may sound like great deals, Taulli says, but the first time you find yourself shouting “Can you hear me now?” over your office phone you’ll realize that regular old landlines are much more reliable.

Taulli says it’s the lower costs of VOIP that seduce many businessowners, who wake up later to find that such systems are less reliable, prone to losing two- and three-second chunks of conversations, and are much less secure.

“Talking to someone you start missing two, three seconds here and there – which is huge,” he says. (Especially if the client is trying to say you just landed his business).

And don’t overlook your privacy. VOIP calls can be hacked by simple devices, such as scanners or even other cell phones. Landlines are much more secure at protecting your confidentiality as well as your clients’.

If the power goes out, you can still use your landline – even if every computer in your office is dead. There are also few, if any, random outages, as there are with the internet. Landline carriers such as Verizon advertise 99.9 percent uptime, something that internet routers are hard pressed to match.

For all these reasons, Taulli still recommends businesses make landline telephone systems their first choice.

He is in the commanding position to discuss whether you should “cut the cord” or not for your business, having worked in the telephone industry for 32 years and in that time consulted with hundreds of business owners and installed thousands of miles of hard wire cabling.

Taulli’s company The Phone Guy specializes in phone systems, voice and data cabling, T1 and DSL connecting and troubleshoots telcom problems. In his day, he has seen (and heard) it all (like phone system cabling that was wrapped around plumbing pipes, and phone control box circuitry that resembled balls of wirey yarn).

“When we’re done [installing a system], the next Phone Guy could come in there and figure it out because it would be comprehensive and cohesive and with an industry standard ,” Taulli says, intently. (He’s pretty intent about his work.) “There’s a correct way to build a phone system.”

“It’s very rare to find people that make the extra effort and do the job correctly, that’s kind of what we’re known for,” he says.

For businessowners faced with a phone system quandry, Taulli urges: Don’t forget the basics.

A phone is something you use to talk to someone — you can hear what the other person is saying and they can hear you. Just hang up on anything that fails that simple standard, Taulli says.

For more about The Phone Guy, call (626) 568-8554 or visit

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