Broadband and phone

I'm a bit of a fan of http://aaisp.net/ though since they don't offer "all-in-one", "all you can eat" packages, it can be difficult to recommend to friends and family. They also don't really do line rental, since they do not offer PSTN calls (so you won't need PSTN take over if you have a line already or PSTN provision if you line is off). You want PSTN calls, although I'll later get onto VOIP since it's a good backup in emergencies, especially if you have only one line, which in this example is the case.

So you've bought a pub and you can start from scratch. Actually not quite, this premises has a BT business line which is a huge PITA to switch to residential. AFAIK a BT business line doesn't give you anything except a minimal compensation when the line is faulty. All that for 50% extra line rental a month. An insurance rip off.

So the pub (or any business) needs good reliable internet and in fact you need cordless telephone most of all since you are going to be talking a lot with suppliers. Also you want to supply punters with Internet (thankfully mostly evening/weekend usage).

So if we setup the 20CN line with AAISP, we are talking:

AAISP's monthly cost of 34.4GBP including line rental is pretty pricey, though it is the best.

So we are talking 232.8GBP a year for Internet and 180GBP BT line rental, which is 412.8GBP for the year altogether.

Now for the calls

Now with quality Internet we can start to use VOIP instead of PSTN calls. VOIP is far more flexible, full featured, cheaper calls (esp international) and can offer better voice quality. Lets assume you keep the PSTN number as emergency backup, you now have many several VOIP solutions like:

VOIP Equipment

For Skype you generally need a PC or a Skype phone. This sucks because Skype is a proprietary protocol, so if you buy say the familiar cordless phone for running around the premises, it will probably only work with Skype and no other VOIP provider. You become tied to Skype, though Skype do offer a very good (firewall busting) service IMO.

Gradwell sell the open standard VOIP phone wares, which is good. I'm quite partial to the Siemens Gigaset a580IP as this is the same equipment AAISP pitches.

Vonage's equipment is interesting because it's free and it works with old PSTN devices. So no special VOIP hardware, though I'm concerned you lose some features. However if you just dial with the damn thing, you probably will not care.

VOIP cost

So the all-in-one deals like TalkTalk's is about 286GBP a year. This is a poor benchmark as I've heard countless stories how awful their service is. Perhaps TalkTalk are a victim of their own success, however if we compare this to AAISP's 412GBP a year without calls.

However enter the murky world of broadband business and Talktalk's all inclusive equivalent seems to be 10GBP for internet, 13.50GBP for line rental & 15GBP for calls. So altogether the business benchmark per year is 462GBP, which give us 50GBP for calls to play with ontop of AAISP.

Vonage's equivalent to TalkTalk's is roughly 72GBP a year with a 25GBP setup cost. So for quality AAISP Internet and Vonage which I've heard is very good, you're only paying an ongoing cost of 22GBP extra a year. Not too bad, though this plan breaks down if a lot of AAISP Internet units are used.

Gradwell's comparable "all you can eat" UK telephony offer seems to roughly 4+8GBP a month which I estimate to be 144GBP a year.

AAISP do not offer all you can eat, though AAISP's call charges are not very competitive, however their service is very good, and it's awesome to have broadband and VOIP together on their control panel.

Conclusion since you and I are getting thirsty

Lets say AAISP and the selected VOIP providers are just twice as good as Talk Talks offerings. IMHO AAISP are in orders of magnitude better and you get a ton of powerful features and flexibility with a a daunting BT + AAISP + VOIP provider setup.

As iterated above, one light user could compete with TalkTalk's all in one business offer. Tbh I think the cost of extra AAISP units (they don't do unlimited) could make the cost closer to 700GBP a year, so really I would suggest something that's going to at LEAST twice as good it's going to cost you just 50% extra and give you a lot more flexibility WRT calls, though a bit of a headache paying BT (line rental & PSTN call backup), AAISP & your VOIP provider.

Sidenote: Pub POS software & Credit card(CC) processing

Unforunately typical UK CC processing (PDQ) equipment uses slow dialup to process payments, which might only work with PSTN and not VOIP. CC over IP needs some investigation, though the major benefit of this is that it should be VERY quick to process payments. As quick as M&S or Tesco checkouts.

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