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AAISP Warns UK Firms to Think of Broadband Before Culling FAX Lines

Friday, Feb 15th, 2013 (8:06 am) - Score 1,101

The boss of business ISP Andrews and Arnold (AAISP) has warned companies to think of their broadband connection before ceasing an old fax line (facsimile). The warning comes after the internet provider noticed a trend where some firms would cancel fax services without realising that the same line was also being used for broadband.

Fax machines were of course one of the earlier methods of communicating information, before dialup modems and broadband changed the landscape forever. In short a fax machine would electronically scan your image or document and transmit it as data over a standard phone line to a machine on the other end (similar to dialup).

In recent years fax has slowly been phased out but many businesses still make use of the once dedicated fax line to run their primary or backup broadband connection (the ADSL digital signal is kept separate so the two can work side-by-side, just like with voice calls). Unfortunately the I.T department doesn’t always tell the accounts department about this small but rather important fact.

Adrian Kennard, Director of ISP Andrews & Arnold, said:

There is, however, a problem, and this is why we are seeing this. People (typically accounts departments) finally decide to cease a fax line without realising that this is the line on which the broadband is supplied. In many offices the fax line is one of the few analogue lines they have suitable for broadband as they have ISDN phone systems still. (The move from ISDN to SIP is happening slowly).

The first anyone hears about it is when the internet stops working. The end user then has to (a) get the BT line reinstated (usually reasonably quick), but then has to (b) wait for the broadband cease to close (c) order new broadband, and maybe (d) pay for an expedite on the new broadband order. Not nice, expensive, and lack of internet for a day or even a week in some cases.”

This just goes to show the damage that a small administrative blunder can do and also why it’s necessary to have a backup solution when things go wrong. These days even many home users have access to a Mobile Broadband connection for when their fixed line goes down, yet surprisingly some smaller firms don’t have any backup solutions.

It’s worth pointing out that online fax solutions do exist for those who wish to make the transition.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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