PRIs – The New Money Pit

Like the beloved Tom Hanks movie from the 80s, the plot of “The Money Pit” reflected on the fact that they invested in a house that became a constant headache and series of problems, but it started off as a good idea. The same can be said for businesses that purchased and needed one or multiple PRIs back in the day.

What’s a PRI you say? What if I still have one? How do I know if I have it on my bill?

A PRI, a Primary Rate Interface, allows for 23 concurrent call paths of voice traffic. This also is only in terms of inbound and outbound calling (internal extension dialing from phone to phone does not count towards this). The PRI line, or circuit, is a physical piece of equipment. You will usually see “PRI” listed somewhere on your bill along with blocks DIDs which stand for “Direct Inward Dial” phone numbers (as shown above).

Back when a company had first setup it’s phone lines and Internet, this might have been a very good offer, as the use and need 23 concurrent call paths (phone lines) was much more prevalent 10-15 years ago compared to now with the advancement of emails, text messaging, cell phones and video chats. If you’re a successful, long-term business, this factor could have been overlooked.

The PRI sits there in your business, just draining money, a silent killer. It’s an undiagnosed problem that your current provider will never want to tell you about. Some companies pay monthly bills ranging from $300 to $500 for a PRI that’s only getting used for a handful of its phone lines.

Switching to SIP trunks (virtual phone lines over the Internet) or a fully-hosted VOIP platform gives you all of the benefits of cutting down on costs. Your phone numbers are still important, but people all calling your main phone number at the exact same second, that likelihood has gone way down.

You can get away with less SIP trunks which are also more cost effective. Luckily, you can still keep your same phone numbers and we can even add new DIDs if some people in your office wanted a personal number that would go right to their extensions and then, if unanswered, right to their personal voicemail.

We have hosted VOIP pricing where we won’t BUNDLE your minutes and extensions together. Instead, we will set you up with how many call paths (aka “phone lines”) you truly need on a VOIP platform that works for you. There are wide-range of VOIP platforms with features from simplistic to advanced call-center options.

For more information on a range of different VOIP solutions, email or call our sales team at 262.207.1100.