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Focus’ed on Telecoms

Jan 22, 2015

In today’s market saving money and reducing expenditure is key to any SBM or Bursar, so it may not be surprising to know that over 60% of schools and colleges use an alternative supplier to BT retail.

By using an alternative provider schools and colleges can now save over 50% on line rental and up to 60% on call charges compared to BT retail. By using the partnerships that companies, such as The Focus Group, have with BT Openreach, service levels and response times are identical to BT retail but often at a much lower cost.

Along with cost, you can also benefit from:
One point of contact
24/7 fault reporting
No call connection/set up charges
Dedicated Account Manager

Call rates and line rental pricing has fallen significantly over the past 2 years so no matter which company you use, now is an ideal time to look at costs and even your overall telecoms set up. VoIP, or SIP trunks, are becoming more and more popular with free calls and the rentals being half the cost of normal analogue or ISDN. This rise in popularity of VoIP is directly proportionate to the improvements in, not only data availability/speeds in the UK, but also to a dramatic decrease in data costs of all levels from Fibre broadband (Infinity) to EFM and Ethernet leased lines.

Something which any school or college should be very aware of in today’s world is telephony fraud. Telephone system fraud now globally costs users over $40 Billion per year; compared to $7.6 Billion for credit card fraud*. Clearly, it is a huge problem.

How do they do it?

Hackers will access a telephone system via a variety of methods, typically through a voicemail that has a factory setting passcode. They will make extremely long concurrent calls to premium or international numbers which is often carried out overnight or at weekends, when it will not be noticed.

How can it be prevented?

Telecoms providers will often provide Fraud Protection to limit client’s exposure to this. The Focus Group for example have detection measures in place operating 24/7 to notify you if suspected fraudulent activity occurs and suspend the service accordingly until the system can be secured. This is coupled with a maximum usage limit to always avoid any significant charge. Changing the passcode to a personalised number will also help.


Seb Birch

Director of New Business, The Focus Group

*Figures from the Communications Fraud Control Association

The Focus group do some fantastic work so please check out their website on

Category: Cost Savings

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