Virtual Office > Problem Explanations and Solutions
Common causes for choppy audio

Choppy audio is caused by packet loss (typically greater than 1% overall) or excessive jitter (changes in packet latency). This is typically caused by more traffic on your network than the network can handle in a timely manner, affecting network performance.

Voice over IP (VoIP) uses very little bandwidth by today's standards, and compared to other applications. An active phone call takes only around 80 kbps of bandwidth in each direction. Congestion on the network is rarely caused by the voice over IP traffic itself. It is more often caused by other sources, such as backup jobs uploading to off-site servers, windows profile backup and loading (if your PCs are managed), and other applications like email, video, and application or operating system updates.

Voice over IP is more sensitive to network performance issues than other applications, such as email or web browsing. You will notice network issues sooner on your voice over IP phones than you will with other applications.


Velocity Telephone has a tool we provide to our Virtual Office customers that helps guage network performance over time to diagnose and head off audio issues before they become a problem. Our Remote Monitor can be installed on a local computer and sends a small amount of traffic which allows us to provide you with information on your network performance over time and assist in finding trouble spots and eliminate them.

If you are having audio quality issues on your network contact Velocity Telephone support today so we can begin working with you to alleviate any audio quality issues on your network.

Possible Options and Solutions

Depending on your situation, some of the possible options and solutions to congestion and audio issues may include:

  • Placing backup jobs on a schedule to run overnight
  • Increasing Network Bandwidth - ordering more bandwidth to avoid congestion issues. Note it is typically best to identify when and how often issues are occurring before adding bandwidth as there may be better or more effective options for eliminating contention for your available bandwidth.
  • Traffic Shaping (such as a Velocity LinkShaper) - helps control congestion on your existing bandwidth so voice traffic is not affected
  • Prioritized Network - prioritizing voice over IP traffic (on your internet WAN connection) over other traffic so voice over IP traffic is not effected by congestion. Almost all congestion occurs at the WAN or internet connection of your network, rather than on the LAN (local area network).

Whatever the cause of audio issues on your network, there are options to diagnose and alleviate these problems. Contact Velocity Telephone support if you are having audio issues and we can work with you to address circumstances affecting your voice over IP performance.

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