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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - July 18, 2005

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

July 18, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest.

Today, we'll preview news about why, when Christmastime rolls around this year, Santa's sleigh may be full of Vonage-configured Linksys routers. We'll visit Vonage a Voip Forum thread on what you should check if you cannot set up that router because it gives you an invalid MAC address, and meet a new user who would like your help getting her new Vonage to work between two floors. Finally, we'll introduce you to our Vonage Voip Forum Member of the week -who has a "day job" that might take you a bit by surprise.

In The Headlines

Comp USA Exec: Led by Vonage, Voip to Be "Hottest Product" This Holiday Season

As vice-president of merchandising for Dallas-based CompUSA, Brian Woods is in a unique position to observe and forecast what technology will be hot this coming Holiday season. That's because 229-store CompUSA is the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer specializing in computing and telecommunications gear. Walk into any CompUSA store, and you are likely to see several shelves full of Vonage routers and adapters.

Late last week, Woods told a meeting of metro Dallas-Fort Worth leader that he expects his xx-store chain's sales of Voip products to jump to 18,000 to 25,000 a month from the current 3,500-a-month pace now.

"It (VoIP) is the fastest growing category at CompUSA. Why? In consumer lingo it is extremely cheap," Woods said. "Because it's extremely cheap, because customers understand that it is fairly easy to install and pretty easy to use, it's catching on."

In his remarks, Woods singled out Vonage as leading the charge for economical Voip pricing. He mentioned that Vonage offers a basic service package for $14.95 and unlimited local and long-distance calling for $24.95 - which, he correctly termed substantially cheaper than traditional phone plans.

"The (VoIP) adoption rate has been very, very quick over the last several months," he added. "We've seen literally 500 percent, 700 percent increases over the last 90 days, and through the holidays, we expect voice over IP to probably be the hottest product within our building."

Whether an online order delivered by Santa's sleigh or a retail store pickup at a place like CompUSA (hey, that rhymes!!), I'm betting that a hefty chunk of those tens of thousands of new Vonage buyers will open their boxes and set up their routers right after those Vonage boxes arrive. Which brings us to today's first highlighted thread on the Vonage Voip Forum...

On The Vonage Voip Forum

Last month, new Vonage Voip Forum member Alchie started a thread that he named, Retail SignupTrouble-Invalid MAC Address. In the thread, Alchie mentioned that he had just purchased a Linksys RT31P2 router online. Alchie says his problem first became apparent when he received the router. "At that point, he says, "I went to the Vonage website and tried to use the Retail Activation page. When I give it my MAC, it tells me it's invalid."

Alchie contacted Vonage tech support and after the tech support person looked up the MAC number, Alchie was told the router was defective. "Obviously, it's not - I got it brand new out of the packaging and works fine. What I'm wondering is if there is some way a tech support person can adjust the MAC database to allow me to register."

When veteran Vonage Forum member paul248 saw Alchie's post, he pointed out that MAC addresses should only consist of the numbers 0-9 and the Letters A-F. The first half is likely to be "001217." Alchie responded that he keyed in the numbers correctly. But then, Forum Member Richl, also a Vonage rep, wrote a post with this offer of assistance:

"Make sure you are entering the WAN MAC address," Richl wrote. "If that is still not working, it may mean that you device's mac id is not registered in our database. Sometimes devices fall thru the cracks and do not get registered. If you pm me with your model, and mac address, I will request to have it registered for you."

OK, you may be wondering why we've spotlighted a month-old thread. Well, early this morning, new Vonage Forum member rstrauss made a post outlining a similar problem, and said that he had just sent a PM (Private Message) to rstrauss asking for help.

Incidentally, if you want to send a Private Message to a Vonage Forum member, just click the PM icon below the post you want to send the Private Message about.

In a new Vonage Voip Forum thread called install. help: wireless router on floor 2, phone on floor3, new Vonage Forum member donna_819 defines and then describes her problem in detail:

"I am on the 3rd floor, with a separate (and currently working) landline but shared DSL," Donna writes. She says that she successfully installed a router on the 2nd floor, piggybacking it to the primary router located on the 3rd floor. DSL works wonderfully, no connection problems."

It sounds like Donna's problems started when she I installed the phone adapter to use on and with the Floor 3 equipment. "The power light is on as is the Ethernet light," she writes. She says that the Ethernet light only came on when she ran the cable through a router she already had. But that does not solve the issue, she tells us.

"No phone line, no matter where I plug the set into: computer or router," Donna reports. "Any suggestions what setup I might try so that I get phone service again? It's been a long 6 weeks!"

I'm sure that some of you who have dealt with this issue will have some suggestions for Donna.

You know, our suggestions come from very experienced Vonage users, newer users who have just solved problems being asked about in these threads- and from any of several Vonage customer service reps who regularly visit- and are members of - the Vonage Voip Forum.

We're grateful for the extra effort. With that gratitude in mind, we give rcb116 our nod for Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week. He's answered your questions in more than 100 posts. Some of his entries give practical solutions for, and answer questions about, such hot topics as router and configuration issues and local number portability. Check out rcb116's posts here.

Way to go, rcb116? Not only do we appreciate your helpfulness, but we like your enthusiasm!!

That's what's hot about Vonage today. Check with us Tuesday morning for the next edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest!!

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