Cloud Net has today announced a business phone package aimed to ensure that small businesses have working phone systems if a BT strike goes ahead.
In the case of a strike, business owners whose lines develop a fault could be left with no telephone lines or broadband.
Cloud Net is offering a back up phone system which can be activated in case of a fault developing on a BT line.
Cloud Net is offering BT subscribers a special package at £47.50 per handset + VAT set up cost, including a free phone, and set up to any telephone number, a powerful internet based switchboard, and the ability to cancel the contract immediately with no termination fees.
Cloud Net will only bill rental charges (£8.50 per month) and call costs from the date a BT user starts to use the system.
This means if BT strikes small companies will have a complete back up plan in a box waiting to go, preconfigured, for a low cost with no commitment.
Cloud Net can either transfer existing BT numbers to Cloud Net or can set up a divert from BT and when the strike is over, BT users can switch back to BT should they wish to.
David Hill, Chairman of Cloud Net explains, “Industry accepted estimates demonstrate that on average a customer experiences a serious fault every 18 months which means that the network will degrade at the rate of about 8% a month.
“That is after month one 92% will still function and 84% after two if no fixes are implemented. We believe that small businesses should be thinking of contingency plans to ensure that they have a back up phone system if the strike does take place.
“If they leave it too late, they made end up scrambling around for a phone system which is not reliant on BT.”
BT employees have until 5 July to decide whether they will go on strike for the first time in 23 years.
The strike which can start as early as 12 July may have catastrophic results for BT users, whether consumers or businesses.
Unless a consumer or small business uses companies like Cloud Net, Virgin or Cable and Wireless, they could face being without phone or broadband during a strike.
BT provides phone services to many small businesses and most other providers use their lines for the final connections.
Hardly any small businesses use Virgin and Cable and Wireless will only supply large companies so the total network for consumers and small businesses not using Virgin or Cable and Wireless could be affected.
No engineers will come out to fix broadband or phone lines in the case of a strike, so BT customers could be left without a service as long as the strike continues.
The thought of no phone or internet is unthinkable for many households and could be the ruin of many businesses.
Can the internet break BT’s monopoly?
Unlike companies that resell BT services, the Cloud Net network is not reliant on BT engineers to fix it. Their network is based on Voice over IP which uses the internet to make phone calls.
As long as there is a broadband connection, Cloud Net phones still work.
If one connection goes down, then users can take their phones and plug them into an alternative broadband line, for example an additional line in their office.
Alternatively users can take the phones home and plug it into their home broadband service and work there for the day.
This means that users will still have use of their usual office phone numbers and all the switchboard features they are used to, including the ability to transfer calls within the business.”
BT pensions in the balance could further anger unions
July 12 is a critical day for BT. BT will have its day in court over the government’s position with regard to BT’s pension fund.
Which ever way the judgement goes it will inflame the union’s attitude
In addition, BT’s discussions with contractors such as Carillion to take over engineering work and BT’s intended use of middle management to carry out repairs will hardly pacify the union.
David Hill, Chairman of Cloud Net says that his company can offer a robust alternative to BT so that companies can avoid being reliant on the telecoms giant and its thousands of unhappy workers.
Cloud Net can provide a greater degree of resilience than telecoms giants as its telephone systems are based on the internet.
If users want to benefit from Cloud Net, then there is no guarantee that BT will allow the porting of numbers away during the strike - so now is the time to act.
Cloud Net will still be able to configure systems in the period of a strike but may not be able to transfer numbers - so new users would have to use new telephone numbers which would not be ideal.
There are other options from Cloud Net as well to help small businesses survive the BT strike.
Cloud Net will divert any call to any phone, anywhere with no divert fee and also provides a live answering service to field any incoming calls.
“The great thing is that you can keep all of this flexibility and resilience comes at very little cost. If you want a standby power supply in case the mains cuts out, it costs a fortune.
“If you want a standby phone system in case of strikes, there is no capital cost from Cloud Net and a very low monthly subscription,” says Charles Chance, MD of Cloud Net.