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VOICE
Voice Services are telecommunication products that are provided by a Local Exchange Carrier (LEC), a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC), or a Long Distance Provider.  These types of services can range from simple dial tone like POTS lines or sophisticated services like IPFlex that dynamically allocates voice services and Internet Access over the same line.  

Business Access Lines (POTS) - provide basic dial tone to analog telephones or simple telephone Key Systems.  These lines are sometimes refered to as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines.  A single, local telephone number is assigned to the line and the ability to make local calls and receive calls is inherent with the service.  A Switched Long Distance service can be added to the line from a Long Distance Provider to make long distance calls.

Centrex Lines - provide basic dial tone to analog telephones with the addition of a set of features that mimic the features inherent in a phone system.  Such common Centrex features include intercom calling from one Centrex line to another, call transfer in and out of the Centrex service, call forwarding, call pick-up, speed dialing and call hold.  Each Centrex line will have it own local telephone number, and will behave just like a Business Access Line when making and receiving calls.

Trunk Lines - are specifically designed to provide a phone system, such as Key Systems or PBXs, with with the ability to make and receive calls.  These differ from Business Access Lines because a trunk usually has the ability to terminate many numbers per trunk instead of one.  The numbers carried by a trunk are refered to as Direct Inward Dial (DID) numbers.  You may have as many DID numbers as you want assigned to a trunk, within reason.  Analog trunk lines are individual lines that can be paired with other analog trunks to form a trunk group.  Digital trunks are carried by a T-1 and are the equivalent of 24 analog trunks.  Trunks can be either one way trunks, which just deliver calls made to DID numbers, are two-way trunks, which can both send and receive calls.  Two-way trunks are not available from all carriers.

Primary Rate Interface (PRI) - is a specialized digital trunk used with phone systems.  It provides 23 B-Channels, or trunks, and 1 D-Channel used for signalling.  It is delivered on a T-1.  The 23 B-Channels provide both inbound and outbound connectivity to the phone system for call completion.  The 23 B-Channels do not have their own local telephone numbers assigned to them.  Instead, they only act as a trunk group for DID numbers.  It is up to the phone system to decide where a dialed number is to terminate within the office.  The advantages of a PRI over a two-way digital trunk include quicker call set-up and dynamic allocation of the trunks for inbound and outbound calling.

Integrated Access (IPFlex) - is the combining of Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) and Local Service.  A T-1 is provisioned to dynamically allocate its bandwidth between Internet service and dial tone.  The T-1 is terminated at the customer's premise into a special access router that provides ethernet access to the Local Area Network (LAN) for the Internet Access service and either a PRI connection or multiple analog connections provisioned as Business Access Lines.  When the voice lines are not in use, the Internet Access available is the entire T-1 bandwidth.  When voice lines are in use, the Internet Access bandwidth is reduced to accomodate the voice traffic.

Long Distance - rates are determined by the transport service that delivers them to a company's communications system.  Switched rates means that the long distance call is originated on a Local Access Line, Trunk or PRI.  Since these lines are usually categorized as local service, the long distance provider must pay the local phone company for use of the line, so these rates are usually the highest.  Dedicated rates means that the transport used to originate the call is owned by the Long Distance Provider.  Dedicated rates are cheaper, but the company also has to pay for the cost of the transport.

Toll Free Service - rates are similar to Long Distance Rates and can be either Switched or Dedicated.  The same pricing principles apply for Toll Free Service depending on the transport used to terminate the call to the company's communications system.  Toll Free Numbers are fully transferable from one carrier to another carrier.  Switched Toll Free Service is pointed at a local telephone number, while Dedicated Toll Free Service is delivered on a private line.

Conference Calling - can be either Reservationless or Operator-Assisted.  Reservationless conference calling, also known as on-demand or unattended conferencing, is designed for impromptu or scheduled calls of less than 100 participants.  Operator-Assisted Conferencing provides the concierge service and assurance you need for high-profile event calls and other complex or large conference calls.  Conference coordinators can gather participants, perform roll call, introduce speakers, and monitor the conference throughout. A full complement of service enhancements is available, including polling, post-conference dial-in for playback, breakout groups and transcription. Advance reservations are usually required. 
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