Your favorite Seattle-based VOIP and telephony provider.

Nokia 5G21, Nighthawk M6 Pro, Inseego FX3100 and Arcadyan KDV21Do you recognize one of these modems? New wireless internet offers by T-Mobile, AT&T, MetroPCS and others might have great speedtest results, but be hamstrung by instability entirely due to how these companies provision your service.

None of the hardware above comes with even a public IPv4 address, limiting your ability to interact with the internet, and drastically decreasing reliability of connections you make out to the internet.

Network Address Translation The root of the problem is Network Address Translation (NAT), a technology that was once only used by your router at home to share one public IP address amongst many computers. This technology has been co-opted by Telecom companies to allow them to serve thousands of customers with one public IP address.

Shared MailboxSharing with Carrier Grade NAT Your address on the internet is being shared amongst so many different people when you are behind a Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT), websites like Google, Cloudflare protected websites and streaming services like FuboTV often treat your attempts to reach them as a risky connection needing further authentication like a ReCAPTCHA challenge or forcing you to go through two factor authentication.

CGNAT prevents you from receiving any inbound connections, causing issues including limited online connectivity for console games, making camera systems inaccessible, causing remote desktop connections to use a slower relay to connect you to the remote computer, and many other inbound connections issues.

The other gotcha with CGNAT is the limited memory of a thing called the state table. With NAT, you have to track every active connection, and many types of connections linger in a  seemingly open state for hours or days. The limited memory of the CGNAT hardware used by many ISPs causes these longer lived connections to get dropped at random, resulting in half loaded webpages, video and audio calls 📞 where part of the audio or video is lost, and numerous other irritating issues that are hard to debug.

Your own mailbox, separate from everyone elseTaking Control with a Public IP Much like having your own mailbox, a public IP address all of the challenges and issues caused by CGNAT disappear. There is no more NAT between your network’s edge and the internet, and your local router has plenty of memory to store the state table of connections from your network many times over.

Let us help you! If you have any of the hardware shown above please contact us today for a free account review. Our knowledgeable team has worked with dozens of ISPs and is adept at securing public IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, rooting out signal quality issues, and advocating for your best interests!

Get better connected at a lower cost by talking with us today! 1m

We are proud to show to you the work we’ve done over the past quarter to make the Accelerate Networks Web Texting app better than ever.

Web Texting is a service that enables you to receive and respond to SMS and MMS messages (texts) from the phone numbers that you use for your existing desk phones. You can access Web Texting through your FusionPBX instance, the same tool that you use to configure your ring groups and extensions. After you login, click the Applications menu button and scroll down to the bottom to select Web Texting. You’ll be presented with the refreshed user interface that we’ve just finished building.

Everyone knows what messaging apps are supposed to look like and how they’re meant to work. To that end we’ve kept everything as familiar as possible so you can get in, respond to your clients, and get back to work in as little time as possible.

Before and After

The old Web Texting conversation picker

We’ve rethemed Web Texting to match with the Accelerate Networks website and redesigned the UI to scale from the smallest iPhone to the widest desktop monitors. We’ve also made it easier to switch between conversations by splitting the page between your most recent messages and the other threads you’re in.

Old Web Texting thread view

If you are a current Web Texting customer then these changes are live, please try them out! If you are on our old texting system and don’t see this new app, please contact our Seattle-based support team and they will get you upgraded for free. If you are not currently using Web Texting and would like to try it out, you can also contact our support team and they will get you set up.

Better Every Day

We’re always working to make your business communications simpler and faster here at Accelerate Networks. Expect to see continuous updates and improvements to Web Texting and our other tooling in the new year!

Fall is a time of change. Here at Accelerate Networks we're changing to better meet your needs. Over the next few days, you'll notice a new theme or visual style when logging in to FusionPBX to manage your phones and extensions. We're matching the colors and branding with our main website to give you a sense of continuity and comfort within our tools.

New FusionPBX L:ogin page

We've also added the phone number for our support line at the top of the page next to the phone icon. There are many settings and configuration options inside FusionPBX and sometimes they can be confusing. When you get to the point where you're not sure what to do, please call our support number (206) 858-8757 for help.

New FusionPBX Dashboard

Message Bubble on Pink Background

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

Texting is gaining popularity among businesses, but what pitfalls do you need to avoid when utilizing this great tool to connect with your clients? You might have heard of 10DLC, perhaps PCI-DSS, TCPA or HIPAA compliance is also a concern.

Thankfully, with a little bit of knowledge you can communicate better with clients in a legal and safe manner!

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Texting

Under certain conditions Texting is HIPAA compliant. Compliance isn't about your texting platform, but rather how you use texting.

Do you need to send or receive protected health information via text?

Often the answer is no, meaning with a client's TCPA consent you can send useful texts like:

  • Appointment confirmations, reminders, and schedule appointments
  • Care Instructions (Pre/Post-discharge)
  • Lab Results
  • Updated business hours
  • Ask for feedback
  • Request a review (on Google or Yelp for example)

An individual has the right under the Privacy Rule to request and have a covered health care provider communicate with him or her by alternative means or at alternative locations (per US Department of Health and Human Services).

Healthcare providers should accomodate patient requests to communicate over unencrypted means like telephone, fax, e-mail and texting. If the provider feels the patient may not be aware of the possible risks of using unencrypted communication, or has concerns about potential liability, the provider can alert the patient of those risks, and let the patient decide whether to continue.

Texting clients from a personal device or personal phone number should always be avoided to ensure data security and that staff can reliably reply to clients even when a particular team member is out of office.

Express Consent is the gold standard under the TCPA for a business to contact a consumer. Simply asking a client via text or email “Mind if we text, email or call you about upcoming offers and appointments?” informs the client of your intent and solicits their express consent.

Retain this date of consent as it forms the legal basis of your TCPA compliance.

What is Person to Person Texting?

This is chatting over SMS or MMS, generally sending a fairly equal number of messages back and forth, below 1 message per second, under 1000 messages per day, contacting under 100 distinct recipents per day, and typically not sending repetitive (or substantially repetitive) messages.

Should I register for Application to Person Texting?

For marketing or bulk messaging purposes registering for Application to Person texting, or using a different class of messaging like Toll Free Texting or Shortcode Texting is neccesary. Obtaining Double Opt-in consent or Express Consent via text is also required for these types of texting.

What if sensitive information is texted to me?

Examples include credit or debit card numbers (a PCI-DSS compliance concern), medical records and similar. Advise the person you are communicating with that the information they sent is sensitive and state you will delete the prior text and they should do the same.

By deleting the text that contains sensitive information, you ensure data security as the sensitive data no longer exists.

Clients can respond with the word STOP to a text message, or expresses over email, phone call, text or letter that they are not consenting to further communication. The revocation of consent request needs to be honored within 24 hours of reciept, and you should only send a single confirmation message of the opt-out to the recipient (do not include any promotional material in this message).

Terminology

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) – Requires express written consent from the contacted party. Often implemented as a double opt-in, with the second opt-in occuring via text.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) – A standard for Payment Card Industry Data Security, guiding those who use credit and debit cards on how to securely handle payment information.

10 Digit Longcode (10DLC) – A registration program run by The Campaign Registry Inc for local phone numbers used by businesses to permit non-conversational (A2P) messaging.

Peer to Peer Messaging (P2P) – Messaging between two people, with nearly the same number of messages going out and coming in.

Application to Person – One way alert messages (Welcome texts, reciepts), Promotional messages (Use x coupon code for 10% off, Happy Hour is extended this Thursday, etc)

Are your calls going to voicemail more often? Do you show up as Scam or Spam? You may not have control over caller compliance regulations or the FCC mandates for robocall filtering, but with a little effort you can nix those Scam or Spam labels! Normal Call and Scam Likely Call

First Steps

If calls are being labeled as spam or you’ve simply noticed a troubling drop in answered calls, what immediate actions should you take?

Go to FreeCallerRegistry.com, choose Register Here and fill out the form. It is okay to estimate the outbound call volume for your phone number under “Calls per month” when filling this out. Filing a report with the problematic carrier that mislabeled your call is also advisable, and is covered later in this article.

Identify who you called that saw a label like Spam or Scam Likely, search their phone number on our Lookup page to identify the true carrier of the person you called, then wait at least a few hours and call a different phone number on the same carrier to see if your calls are still labeled incorrectly. Make sure your phone number is not a saved contact on the test call recipient’s phone, otherwise the spam or scam warning might not be shown.

What is RoboCall Mitigation?

Many people think STIR/SHAKEN attestations eliminate scam calls, but it’s just one piece of a larger puzzle that is spam call mitigation.

While the FCC is focused on reducing illegal calls, legitimate businesses and individuals are paying the price with their calls blocked due to analytics or getting mislabeled as spam, resulting in fewer answered calls 📞, suboptimal customer experiences, a hit to the bottom line for businesses and frustrating missed connections for individuals that can't get through to the person they were calling.

Mislabeled calls can be a nuisance, the terminology varies from carrier to carrier and recipients often have blind faith that their carrier is ensuring accurate spam labeling is occurring.

Common concerns:

  • What do the differing labels mean (Spam Likely, Potential Spam, Scam, Fraud)? How are the labels determined?https://reportarobocall.com/https://reportarobocall.com/
  • My calls STIR/SHAKEN attestation is an A (where a ✅ or ✔️ shows onscreen), why are some of my calls being mislabeled?
  • How do I contest a spam label?
  • How can I even tell if I’m being blocked or mislabeled?
  • How often is RoboCall filtering affecting my outbound calls?
  • I switched to a new number and it is already labeled spam, why is this happening?
  • What would it take to attach our company name to our calls? Would that help?

Reporting incorrectly labeled calls

Follow the links below to the Reporting form for the carrier that is incorrectly labeling your outbound calls. Note that you need to fill out the form provided by the carrier used by the person you are calling, which you can identify by searching their phone number on the Accelerate Networks Lookup page.

Ensure you enter your phone number on the relevant carrier’s reporting page below in addition to the Free Caller Registry, so they can correct the mis-identification in their system as quickly as possible.

Wireless Carriers: T-Mobile USA (and resellers like MetroPCS, Mint Mobile, etc) – Choose “Not a Scam Likely Call” Verizon Wireless – Choose “My calls to Verizon phone number(s) are being incorrectly categorized, labeled or blocked” AT&T – Uses Hiya, see Vendors elow

Call Filtering Vendors: TNS Call Guardian – Used by Verizon Wireless, C Spire, US Cellular, Charter Spectrum, Xfinity Voice (and Comcast Business), Cox Residential Voice First Orion – Used by T-Mobile Hiya – Used by AT&T and Xfinity Mobile, check “I believe my number is wrongly flagged as spam”

Other Call Blocking Services: Nomorobo – Common on Landlines/VoIP phones RoboKiller Icehook – Calls marked as spam if “highly_likely” (81 to 100 score) risk rating TrueSpam – Calls Blocked at 60 or above score (out of 100) PrivacyStar – Provided by First Orion Telo – Calls flagged at 65, blocked at 70 or above nuisance score (out of 100) TrueCaller Call Transparency – Provided by First Orion Caller ID Reputation

Many carriers outsource their robocall mitigation services meaning one incorrect Spam report can lead to outbound calls going to a busy signal, endless ringing or voicemail on multiple carriers. Texting clients that aren’t reachable via phone call is a good idea if they have consented to receiving texts previously.

The Bulk Porting page

Photo by Thomas Ryan

Switching to Accelerate Networks is easier than ever now that you can bring your old phone numbers with you. Just type your numbers into the Bulk Porting page or copy and paste them from a spreadsheet and we’ll verify their current ownership, show them to you so you can review them, and automatically add them all to your cart.

How it works

Moving a phone number from one network like Comcast to another like Accelerate Networks is called porting. After you tell us what numbers you want to bring over to our network, we talk to your old carrier and submit to them a request to release your phone numbers. This is called a port request. But to make this request we must do our due diligence.

This process starts when you type your existing phone numbers into the Bulk Porting page. We gather all the information we can about the numbers you submitted, like the current Caller ID and the Carrier and then show it to you so that you can verify that you typed in the right numbers and that they really are the numbers you want to bring with you to our network.

Once everything looks right to you, you can fill out the rest of your cart with desk phones and phone service, either as lines or seats. Then you’ll submit your order, after your order is in and you see the success page, you’ll be prompted to Add Porting Information.

Dealing with your old Carrier

In the Porting Information form, we need to collect from you an image of the bill from your current phone service provider that shows the numbers that you want to port. We’ll also need your account number, current billing phone number (with the old company), and your accounts PIN or password.

If at any point you are unsure what to do or have questions you can always contact our support line at 206-858-8757 and they will walk you through the process. When you are done filling out the Porting Information form you can submit it by clicking on the Request A Port button at the bottom of the page.

Happy Days on Accelerate Networks

When you review your order in the future, you’ll see the status of your numbers get updated as they move through the porting process with your old Carrier. When the port request goes through and your numbers are moved onto our network we will send you a congrats email. 🚀

Find the perfect phone number at https://acceleratenetworks.com/Search

Photo by Thomas Ryan

Finding the perfect number for your business is easier than ever with Accelerate Networks. On our website you can use the Numbers tab to search through hundreds of thousands of phone numbers instantly. Type in the area code of the number you want, and then look through our inventory. 206 is our favorite area code for local Seattle businesses, but 425 is a great option too.

Easy to Remember

Within the search results you find that we break numbers down into three categories: Standard phone numbers in grey, Premium numbers in blue, and Executive numbers in green. Standard phone numbers are cheap, but they’re hard to remember with 3 or fewer repeating digits. Premium numbers solve this problem by offering you 4 or 5 repeating digits. In rare cases we’re able to find numbers with 6 or more repeating digits; we call them Executive phone numbers. (Less than one in one thousand phone numbers meets the criteria to be an Executive number.)

We recommend that businesses use an Executive level phone number as the primary number they list on their website or in contact info because they are easy for customers and staff to remember. Premium numbers are ideal for satellite offices or phones in specific physical locations. Finally, if you are picking out a phone number for a spare desk phone in an unused cube then you’ll probably just want a Standard phone number, as no one will remember it anyway.

Area code first

Within an area code, phone numbers are broken down into subgroups based on the middle three digits. Those groups are then mapped to specific rate centers or locations like Bainbridge Island or Richmond Beach by phone companies. In our search results you’ll see that we list these locations next to the Add to Cart button.

Sequential Numbers

When you need to buy a large series of phone numbers it can be useful if they’re all similar or even sequentially numbered. To help you find those groups of numbers we have a Sequential button that will reorganize the page to show you groups of Sequentially numbered phone numbers. If multiple numbers shown on the page are sequential, then they’ll all share the same background color to help you pick them out.

Location, location, location

If location means everything to you, then use the Location button to sort and group the search result by the rate center or location of the phone numbers. We even give you filtering options so you can review just the phone numbers available for a specific place like Des Moines or Vashon.

Everyone has been harmed by a late night commercial theme song that includes a phone number. 877 Cash Now or 1 800 FLOWERS are good examples of the sort of phone number that maps to a word. The Accelerate Networks Numbers tab can help you search for a number with a word in it. Just type the word in and click the green Search button. Look at the phone numbers that have “hats” in them!

When you’ve found the perfect phone number smash that Add to Cart button and remember to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos on how to make the most of your new desk phones.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad

You answer the phone. All you hear is popping, snapping static like a sparkler firework.

There are still wireline phones in use that are not HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible), and if you wear an aid or have a cochlear implant, fireworks may be all you hear.

Most of these assistive devices have a telecoil (or T-coil), which is designed to wirelessly communicate with telephones via electromagnetic signal rather than sound. The device then plays this as sound directly into the ear, resulting in a much cleaner sound for the listener.

Newer phones have handsets that are Hearing Aid Compatible, which means they can send an electromagnetic signal directly to the device.

In February of 2020, The Federal Communications Commission mandated all new wireline phones to be Hearing Aid Compatible, and labelled HAC. While not yet required for wireless phones, many manufacturers are already stepping up and complying with the regulations now.

If you are unsure if your equipment meets this need, give our Sales Team a call at 206-333-3341. We would be delighted to help you, and thank you for being an Accelerate Networks customer.

Photo by cottonbro studio

If you can make calls, but no calls are coming in, check the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone. The simplest way to check is to turn it on, then off, as it is a toggle. It is used to stop a particular phone from ringing, and incoming calls are sent to voicemail. If you are on a call, the Mute button works to mute your handset, but if you are not on a call, it works as a Do Not Disturb button.

For most of our desktop phones this is fairly straightforward, either a large red sign in the middle of the screen or the traditional red circle with a white bar across the middle “do not enter” sign, and a banner telling you DND mode is enabled.

However, on our portable phones it is much less obvious. On the screen, you will see the red circle with a white bar across the middle, but it is tiny and in the upper left corner directly under the antenna bars. It is suggested that you check this often (or ask us to disable this feature), as it is very easy to press the Mute button with other parts of your anatomy than your finger and accidentally enable Do Not Disturb.

Still having a challenge? Give our Tech Team a call at 206-858-8757. Thank you for being an Accelerate Networks customer.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

If PANIC is starting to set in, please know we are here to help you in several ways:

However, sometimes you just want a quick tutorial on how to do something on your phone that you do not use very often, or maybe it is different from other phones that are familiar, and we have you covered.

On our website, head to Resources. Select Support, then find the model of your phone. The button at the bottom will take you to a “How to Use” page, with as many as 15 short videos on everything from initial setup to a factory reset for that phone (or one very similar.) They are for both portable and desktop models, from 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length, and we have over 75 on the site with more on the way.

Also, if you are not sure what different features do, such as the difference between call parking and call holding, or an attended versus blind call transfer, our videos can help. Still having trouble? Give our Tech Team a call at 206-858-8757.

Thank you for being an Accelerate Networks customer.

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