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Telephone Options for Your Business

Once upon a time, ordering phones for your new business was simple: Call the one and only phone company and have them install what you need in your office. OK, not many of you remember those days, but I do. Now, however there is a bewildering array of telephone options -- landline, Skype, VoIP, wireless phones and PDAs, and virtual telecom services -- and it's not the least bit simple anymore. How do you decide what telecommunication equipment and service will be best for your business? Anita Campbell has a good article in Inc. that briefly describes the various

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Once upon a time, ordering phones for your new business was simple: Call the one and only phone company and have them install what you need in your office. OK, not many of you remember those days, but I do. Now, however there is a bewildering array of telephone options -- landline, Skype, VoIP, wireless phones and PDAs, and virtual telecom services -- and it's not the least bit simple anymore. How do you decide what telecommunication equipment and service will be best for your business? Anita Campbell has a good article in Inc. that briefly describes the various options and provides her take on each. Campbell's review is simple and easy to read, and it tells you most of what you need to know except who to call. That's a whole 'nother discussion, with cable providers now offering many of the same services as traditional telephone landline providers. My answer: It depends on where you are located. All cable operators are not equal, either in offerings, quality or service, and telephone companies don't provide Internet services in more remote locations. While they don't tell you who to call either, Bradley Mitchell on About.com and a C/Net page do provide some insight into choosing among broadband services. Whatever you choose, as your business grows your needs will change, so don't lock into an inflexible, long-term contract wth expensive penalties if it will limit your choices when you need to change.

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