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Bruafekkay Posted:
agreed drab
individual, large
if the hamlet is
not provided with
the requisite
...

In The Forum:
Vonage V-Phone & SoftPhone
Topic:
mauersteine 50x50 unsparing
On Dec 07, 2016 at 20:07:45

tplink Posted:
Im trying to add
my HT802 vonage
adapter to my home
network. I
currently have
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
Vonage behind switch
On Dec 05, 2016 at 06:35:11

DWSupport Posted:
After recent
Vonage update that
took place on the
4th and 5th of
Nov. E-mails with
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Voicemail Not Forwarding to Outlook Accounts
On Nov 10, 2016 at 12:23:26

peterlee Posted:
Had a call from a
Hospital in Ajax,
Ontario to my home
in
Scarborough, Onta
rio
...

In The Forum:
Vonage Canada
Topic:
Hospital Incoming call unable to connect
On Nov 08, 2016 at 11:59:50

TELLDOUG Posted:
I am looking for a
product that will
make my phone ring
louder so I can
hear using
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Looking for a ringer ameliorate
On Oct 26, 2016 at 09:21:30

HildBeft Posted:
You can recollect
password by
connecting the
router to your pc
and open the
browser
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
How to arrive at wifi password?
On Oct 20, 2016 at 05:05:49

HildBeft Posted:
Great tips..
Thanks for sharing
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
How to have Vonage and another land line?
On Oct 20, 2016 at 04:55:03

massrman Posted:
The devices are
available at
different price
margins , please
share your
estimated
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
IP PBX for small business
On Sep 30, 2016 at 00:48:03

massrman Posted:
Hi these are most
commonly used SIP
PBX interops and
their
configuration
guides,
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
IP PBX for small business
On Sep 30, 2016 at 00:37:45

Sammy00 Posted:
Has anyone setup a
W52p phone for
vonage? I have
a W52p with two
wireless handsets,
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
W52p Setup
On Aug 30, 2016 at 10:38:01


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VoIP: Dangling Broadband From The Phone Stick


Vonage In Print News

Dangling Broadband From The Phone Stick

March 19, 2005

By Matt Richtel

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18 - To gauge the potential consumer impact of the consolidation sweeping the telephone industry, look no further than the silver-toned plastic phone gathering dust on the desk in Justin Martikovic's studio apartment.

Mr. Martikovic, 30, a junior architect who relies on a cellphone for his normal calling, says he never uses the desk phone - but he pays $360 a year to keep it hooked up.

"I have to pay for a service I'm never using," he said.

He has no choice. His telephone company, SBC Communications, will not sell him high-speed Internet access unless he buys the phone service, too. That puts him in the same bind as many people around the country who want high-speed, or broadband, Internet access but no longer need a conventional telephone. Right now, their phone companies tend to have a "take it or leave it" attitude.

Consumers "are not forced to go with SBC," said Michael Coe, a company spokesman. "If they just want a broadband connection, I'd recommend they look around for people who can provide just a broadband connection."

The nation's other two largest phone companies, Verizon Communications and BellSouth, have similar policies: broadband service is available only as a bundle with phone service.

That means, even as high-speed Internet service has become one of the most quickly adopted technologies of the computer era, there are few options for the tens of millions of Americans trying to upgrade their dial-up connections.

Some lawmakers and consumer advocates say the issue should be on the agenda as the government considers the market impact of two proposed big telecommunications deals: SBC's planned $16 billion acquisition of AT&T, and Verizon's $6.75 billion offer for MCI, which is being challenged by a rival offer from Qwest Communications.

For many consumers, the main alternative to broadband from the phone company is the local cable company. But cable broadband prices tend to be higher - as much as $60 a month for access, compared typically with $40 or less for phone company broadband. And the cable companies prefer to sell the service as a package with television that can easily exceed $100 a month.

That is assuming cable is even available, which it is not in Mr. Martikovic's apartment in the Nob Hill section of San Francisco - or in 10 percent of the nation's households, for that matter.

Mr. Martikovic says that he has resigned himself to paying SBC $30 a month for a phone bill and $30 for Internet, in addition to $100 for a mobile phone from Sprint. "I bet half of my friends are in this exact same situation," he said.

The question of broadband's availability is almost certain to become part of the policy debate as the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission rule on an eventual acquisition of MCI and whether SBC can buy AT&T. And two weeks ago, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing to discuss the consolidating market power of the phone companies.

Consumer advocacy groups, including Consumers Union, say they plan to ask the F.C.C. to address the lack of "ŕ la carte" broadband when the agency reviews the proposed takeovers.

Despite the market bottlenecks, broadband is increasingly in demand for its ability to let users zip e-mail back and forth with big photo or music files attached; or to play online games; or to quickly open Web pages loaded with video and audio extras. Of the nation's 74.5 million Internet households, an estimated 39 percent now have broadband - up from 36 percent of Internet households at the end of 2003.

So popular is the service, and so few the alternatives for most consumers, that the three biggest regional Bell companies - SBC, Verizon and BellSouth - have been able to expand their share of the Internet broadband market even while declining to sell the service separately.

The cable companies are still in the lead, having moved more nimbly than the phone companies in the early days of broadband back in 2000. But the phone industry's broadband share is now 37 percent, up from 32.7 percent at the end of 2003, and it continues to grow.

While critics say the phone companies are simply squeezing millions of extra dollars from consumers and making it harder for people to move to cheaper Internet telephony in place of conventional phone service, the three big Bells argue that selling stand-alone broadband is not a simple proposition.

In the case of Verizon, the nation's largest phone provider and the dominant one in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states, the company says that it has based its technology and billing systems on delivering service to individual phone numbers.

Verizon has said it is working to develop a stand-alone broadband offering that could be available as soon as the end of the year.

"It's just very complex," said Michael D. Poling, Verizon's vice president for broadband operations and processes for Verizon. "It's changing the guts of the systems and processes we've built for five years."

But the smallest of the Bells, Qwest, which operates primarily in the Rocky Mountain states and is struggling to grow, has been willing to offer ŕ la carte broadband for more than a year.

One satisfied Qwest customer is Chad Jorgenson, 25, a part-time student in Boise, Idaho, and an intern at a computer chip maker. By cutting off his traditional phone service, he said, he had been able to reduce his monthly bill to $47.92, from $71.40. (That bill could be lower still, but he opted for a particularly high speed of service.)

Richard C. Notebaert, the company's chief executive, said Qwest spent just three days and $134,000 to get regulatory approval to offer the service, now a year old. The company now has around 25,000 stand-alone broadband customers.

"We've had no technical problems; we've had no billing problems," he said. "If the consumer wants it, why are you stiffing them?"

In defending their marketing practices, the other Bell companies argue that they are sinking billions of dollars into building Internet-based networks that will eventually replace their conventional telephone technology even as they are struggling to cope with the erosion of their local telephone business. Last year, the phone companies lost 5.4 million residential phone lines as more subscribers chose to rely mainly on wireless service and abandoned second lines that had been used for dial-up computer modems.

Another threat to the phone company revenues will be Internet-based phone service in which calls are transmitted over high-speed Internet lines, as digital packets, much the way e-mail is transmitted. Once customers have broadband Internet access, they are not limited to their local Bell company to be the provider of Internet phone service.

A relatively new Internet phone company, Vonage, now has 550,000 customers who use its services over phone or cable broadband access lines.

And so while Internet telephony is a business the Bells have all said they plan to embrace, some critics say the biggest Bells are using their current market power to slow its development.

The issue might soon come before regulators and Congress. Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts, said he would like to see the Bells' reconsolidated power discussed as part of a pending rewriting of the increasingly outdated Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The F.C.C. is already considering a related issue as it seeks to settle a dispute between BellSouth and four states it serves - Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and Georgia. Those states have told BellSouth that it must continue to sell broadband to an existing customer even if that customer leaves BellSouth to get local phone service from one of the few competitors that have survived the telecommunications shakeout.

BellSouth is fighting the requirements, in part on the ground that one of its competitive advantages is that it enables consumers to buy phone and broadband in one place.

"Our marketing strategy is that we offer a complete package of our services," said Joe Chandler, a spokesman for BellSouth. Because the company has made the investments in broadband network technology, he said, it should reap the rewards.

"If our competitors want to offer broadband," he added, "they should make the same investments."



 
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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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