Phone Systems, VOIP & Internet

So you have the BIG idea that the Church or community needs to develop. Discuss that idea here. Maybe you just want to make a suggestion on a new forum topic. Let us know.
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nicklewis
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Phone Systems, VOIP & Internet

Postby nicklewis » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:37 am

Internet services with VOIP capabilities have the potential of getting broadband into local units with not much more than the units are being charge for phone service alone.

After the little phone fiasco this year that affected many units who found they were being erroneously back charged for phone services by the church contract for phone service, we began to wonder what services we were actually receiving.

We know of no source that tells us about the phone service installed in our building. The stake doesn't know. We learned there is an answering service that we have no access to. There are other services that we've never been told about. The one option we'd like, caller ID, isn't there.

There has to be a better way for the Church to handle the contract for local phone services where the local units know what's going on. When we saw the price that was being paid for the minimal service we were getting, we knew there should be other options that could be able to save the Church money.

The Church should seriously look for a provider that could combine these services. If an option were offered for combined services to units with a cost share when Internet is provided, there may be many units that would opt for that because they would save money over paying for a separate ISP.
Nick Lewis
Melbourne Ward Clerk
Cocoa Florida Stake

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:28 am

nicklewis wrote:After the little phone fiasco this year that affected many units who found they were being erroneously back charged for phone services by the church contract for phone service, we began to wonder what services we were actually receiving.


Interesting. Unless something has changed, the local units are to pay for all long-distance calls and get reimbursed from the stake for basic monthly charges. The stake in turn gets reimbursed by CHQ.

Someone in the stake should know what's going on. I'd start with the Stake Clerk.
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Postby lajackson » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:20 am

RussellHltn wrote:Interesting. Unless something has changed, the local units are to pay for all long-distance calls and get reimbursed from the stake for basic monthly charges. The stake in turn gets reimbursed by CHQ.

Someone in the stake should know what's going on. I'd start with the Stake Clerk.


Actually, the ward never sees the phone bill. The stake either receives a bill and pays it, or the Church makes an expense entry on the stake's Church Unit Financial Statement, for those phone lines that are under the former contract the Church had with a certain company that no longer provides the service.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:24 am

lajackson wrote:Actually, the ward never sees the phone bill.


I may have to poke around. My memory (from quite some years ago) was that the ward got the bill from the local phone company. I assume this was so we could pay the Long Distance charges. Otherwise, either the stake eats the LD charges or they need a way to charge back to the ward.

This might be one of those deals were things are done differently in different areas.
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Postby techgy » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:46 am

RussellHltn wrote:I may have to poke around. My memory (from quite some years ago) was that the ward got the bill from the local phone company. I assume this was so we could pay the Long Distance charges. Otherwise, either the stake eats the LD charges or they need a way to charge back to the ward.

This might be one of those deals were things are done differently in different areas.


All bills for phone services go directly to the stake. In our case that's the Stake Finance Clerk. The ward never sees them.
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Postby marianomarini » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:47 am

To prove that things goes different in different areas!
Here in Italy all bills goes to Central Office (CO) in Milano (all telephone bills of all Italian Unities).
Then, using a software (made by me) they pay mounth charge and detract the ammount of callings (in Italy we pay either local and long distance calls) from Budget of each Unit (Stakes include).
Remeber that we have a central bank account so it's easy for CO manage the funds.
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nicklewis
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Postby nicklewis » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:03 pm

It has been LONG since wards have seen utility bills. Stakes receive all utility bills and pay them. The real issue here was not the SNAFU over the bills many wards received but the entire communications contract system the Church is currently using and that lacks transparency with the end users of the product. That contract may have made sense a few years ago, but needs serious review in light of today's communications capabilities in an Internet world.
Nick Lewis

Melbourne Ward Clerk

Cocoa Florida Stake

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nicklewis
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Postby nicklewis » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:07 pm

I should have added the following to my previous post. Having spoken with the stake president and his clerks, they have been left in the dark on this issue as much as the wards have been.
Nick Lewis

Melbourne Ward Clerk

Cocoa Florida Stake

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Postby lajackson » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:48 pm

nicklewis wrote:Having spoken with the stake president and his clerks, they have been left in the dark on this issue as much as the wards have been.


We had to install a line in a meetinghouse recently for an alarm system so an addition could be accepted under code for occupancy. After using all of the resources available to the stake president, we wound up calling the local carrier and installing it ourselves.

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Church can be its own phone company

Postby mcortiz » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:49 pm

I work for a Lindon based company, and our expertise is helping WISP and cable companies create and sell their own phone service.
The Church could be its own phone company providing wards and stakes with Church phone service. We take care of all the phone number porting, 911, provisioning, etc, eventually the Church would be saving a ton of money in phone bills getting wholesale rates for all of its units, plus free calling between extensions.


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