Sunday, August 09, 2009

What Is VoIP, Anyway?

City Hall's "Voice over Internet Protocol" communications system was not working for most of last week. Both phones and e-mail were down. A home outage is annoying, but a governmental communications breakdown over several days is a minor disaster.

To learn more about VoIP and its advantages and disadvantages, click here.

Some officials used the occasion to point out the need for an information technology director, but it was unclear whether having such a person in place would have solved the problem. One commenter pointed to a possibly faulty electrical system. Whatever the reason, the fact that such outages can happen means there needs to be some rudimentary backup plan. For example, when my land line goes out (which is happening often lately), I can dial a number on my cell phone to listen to my messages and can then respond to any important ones. VoIP by its very nature may not have a similar option, but the question should be asked.

Maybe at Monday's agenda session City Administrator Marc Dashield will be able to give a brief report on the outage. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Dottie Gutenkauf said...

I guess I'm not the only one who had trouble with Verizon all last week--my internet service kept going out...

2:23 PM  
Blogger RASRAHMATAZ said...

Bernice - -certainly an IT Director would make a difference "Ass"uming he/she had a contingency plan in place for such occurrences. I'm sure folks had to figure out to call and then who was going to make the call. An IT Director would/should...WILL have such measures in place. So instead of days you may have a few hours of down time...

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are probably 600 city halls in New Jersey, and there's a big one in NYC. All have some kind of phone service. The question is, who did DaShield give the VoIP contract to? Who did he give the installation contract to? Why did the city change from Verizon? What is the problem? Why can't we get a straight answer? This administration is an embarrassment. The other mayors in the state look at SRB and just laugh.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What makes you think it was Verizon's problem? The story will be told Monday.

12:20 AM  

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