What: Net 2000 – Alternative Local Telephone Company
When: October 15, 2000 8:00 AM

Net 2000 is a next generation telephone company. In 1996, the telecom act opened up competition for network services, just like it did for long distance ten years earlier. Net 2000 provides local dial tone, long distance dial tone, as well as T-1 service. For customers with a number of business lines, the overall cost is less. The company's clientele is business-to-business, Fortune 1000 companies. If you are spending from $2,000 to $10,000 a month in data/long distance, Net 2000 may have a less expensive solution.

Tom Shedlick of Clear Channel has worked with Net 2000 for his market's business lines. It was explained that on a typical T-1, there are 24 channels. Most systems are designed with 12 of these channels serving as incoming phone lines, and 12 serving outbound callers. The problem with this system is that if a 13th caller tries to make an incoming call when the 12 incoming lines are in use, he'll get a busy signal.

In the Net 2000 system, a "smart" T-1 is used. Called an ISDN/PRI (primary rate interface), this T-1 also has 24 channels. One of these channels is the "smart" channel, with 22 B channels. In addition to providing caller ID information, the system provides dynamic call by call allocation. The "smart" channel allocates each call, whether incoming or outgoing, to an open channel.

Their system also allows you to pay for one "pipe" (T-1) and break it into both voice (phone) and data. This presents additional savings, since you are not paying for separate voice and data T-1 circuits. The company is also looking at providing addition value-added services such as store and forward, and visual dial tone. Their network's on-line solutions management tool permits laptop/desktop computer inquiry directly into the switch.

Net 2000 is presently handling the business side of radio stations, though there was some discussion of evolving to the on-air side. Can you imagine getting Caller ID information for every call made to your choke lines? What a research bonanza for the programming department. The tour of the facility demonstrated the latest in switch gear. Presently 1300 T-1's come into the facility. Net 2000 provides T-1 service to 80% of the areas ISP's. They are also partnering with Virginia Power, who is also getting into the telephone business. Being a facilities-based carrier means Net 2000 has control of the dial tone from start to finish. Other networking companies depend on Bell Atlantic to test their circuits. Because everything is concentrated at one location, fault tolerance is much better. The state of the art facility permits diagnosis of line problems either intrusively or obtrusively. This means that problems are solved in minutes instead of days.

Net 2000 boasts a one-for-one redundancy for all their equipment - this includes the power supply vault. Commercial power is converted to 48VDC with battery backup. Fourteen rack mount rectifiers supply 50Amps each at 48VDC to the switching systems. The battery backup provides up to 8 hours of reserve.

Thanks to Al Carr, Christopher Murphy, and Michael Thompson of Net 2000 for the network tour and lunch. More information can be obtained by contacting Christopher Murphy at their Herndon business office, 703-654-2734.