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How to have Vonage and another land line?
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IP PBX for small business
On Sep 30, 2016 at 00:48:03

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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - August 23, 2005

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

August 23, 2005

By Daniel Connor

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

In today's edition, we'll learn about an attempt on the part of one broadband Internet Service Provider to charge Vonage subscribers extra to use the service. We'll read what one E911 industry insider has to say about the challenges that traditional phone companies are facing in modifying their systems to allow Vonage users access to E911 services in their calling areas. We'll hear about a new Internet phone service from Google and whether or not it will compete with Vonage. We'll also look at new Vonage VoIP Forum threads about  how to set up Vonage service in a home with those old four-prong phone plugs in the wall, and how to arrange for a MAC address swap. 

Vonage In The Headlines

Vonage CEO Accuses ISP Of Charging Extra For Vonage Access

At a conference in Aspen, Colorado yesterday, Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron charged that an Internet Service Provider was assessing a surcharge on those of its customers who want to use Vonage over its network.

Citron did not name the carrier, but had a lot to say about the practice, which he described as a violation of "network neutrality." That's the principle that says if you are a broadband Internet Service Provider, you should provide access to all legal services across your network and not charge extra for access to them. Even if those services happen to compete with yours (the ISPs, that is).

"Those who say there's not a network neutrality problem need to take their head out of the sand," Citron told the Progress & Freedom Foundation's Aspen Summit. "There is no law that prohibits (blocking or surcharging) so you can't adjudicate against it."

In other words, Citron is saying that Vonage or its subscribers cannot sue the ISP for charging extra because there is no rule against them doing so.

Citron then argued for a "broadband bill of rights" that would put into law those services a broadband Internet access subscriber could expect access to.

E-911 Exec Says Phone Companies Are Scrambling To Enable Vonage E911 Access

TMCNet's David Sims says he has gotten a letter from a senior executive at an E911 service provider that describes the rough road ahead faced by some traditional phone companies ("ILECs," or Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers) as they gear up for an FCC deadline to make their E911 phone systems accessible to Voip users such as Vonage subscribers.

"I think no one will completely make the deadline, because the ILECs can’t really get the connection orders processed in time; their systems just aren’t set up for that," this executive tells Sims. The executive then tells Sims that "someone told me that there is a team of literally dozens of people working in one ILEC trying to deal with the orders placed by Vonage. This includes people working to change processes to allow Voip carriers to order connections and services, and the people actually processing the orders," adds the executive, who Sims quotes as saying the 120-day deadline is "too short."

Google IM Product Won't Compete With Vonage

Late last night I noticed a new article on the Los Angeles Times website that said Google was getting ready to announce a new Instant Messaging service called Google Talk tomorrow.

Since then, lots of newspapers, websites and blogs have been running with this story, wondering if this Google Talk will have a softphone similar to Vonage SoftPhone. A softphone, incidentally, makes it possible to dial phone numbers by clicking those numbers on an onscreen keypad that looks like the one on your touchtone phone.

Most of what I have been reading says that insofar as Internet phone calling, Google Talk will only be between other Google Talk members who happen to have their Google Talk program open at the same time. They won't, I hear,  offer Internet calls to other computer users, or certainly to phone numbers. In other words, whatever voice capability Google Talk offers will only be as a voice extension of their Instant Messaging software. If that's true, this means Google Talk will certainly not be a competitor to Vonage, nor even of softphone-based calling services such as SkypeOut.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

You know how some of these older homes have four-prong phone jacks on the walls? Well, the subject comes up today on the Vonage Voip Forum.

On a new Vonage Voip Forum thread called Setup on Old 4 Prong Phone System, new Vonage Forum Member scottieb writes that his house, which was built in the 1960s, has one of those old 4-prong phone systems. Scottieb's wondering what he needs to do to convert that setup into an RJ-11 system that will make it easier for him to use Vonage service over all the phones in the house.

Wouldn't you just know it that two of our Forum Members who often give advice did so right away. That would be paul248 and scerruti

"The most important thing is to get your house wiring disconnected from the phone company," Paul writes. "After that, it's just a matter of plugging the Vonage box into one of your existing inside jacks."  Paul added that he assumes scottieb has a way of converting between RJ11 and 4-prong. 

"You will need an RJA1X to connect your adapter to the four prong jack," scerruti wrote, then linking within his post to Electronics Plus. "If you are using four prong phones you will need to check the models to determine ringer equivalency number (REN)." 

For that task, scerruti then mentioned and linked to the Bell System Memorial website, which has lots of information on old phones. "If (the four-prong phones) use old mechanical bells you may have a problem and need to replace the ringer mechanism in the phones so that they will all ring," scerruti wrote. "You may also need to make sure that the yellow wire is grounded. The easiest place to do this is in the NID" (Network Interface Device).

Then, scottieb made a new post in which he clarified his setup and his question. He said only has three or four phone jacks. "I wonder if I could just put a 4 prong plug there, put on the RJ11 converter then run my line. would that work?," he asked.

To that, scerruti went into detail on some helpful pointers. The kind of pointers that has earned scerruti our Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week.

Scerruti's post advised scottieb that "if all the phones worked with the same dial tone before you disconnect from the telco, then they should all work after the disconnection. The only caveat to this is that if you have an older style NID where you must disconnect wires from screw terminals and you have multiple cables connecting to the telco in the NID, you must splice together the wires you remove from the house side of the telco NID." 

Next, scerruti described what this splicing would entail. 

"Typically you would be splicing like colored wires, but in some cases you just have to be careful to splice together the wires that came off the same screws," he wrote. "With newer style NIDs where you are just disconnecting the RJ-11 cable from the test port this is not an issue."

On a new Vonage Voip Forum thread called MAC Address Swap, Forum Member badboyjeffy (clever user name, by the way) describes his problem. By the way, in case you are wondering,  "MAC address" is short for Media Access Control address, which is hardware address that uniquely identifies each node on your network.

"The Linksys adapter is not compatible with my phone switch," badboyjeffy writes. "However, the Cisco ATA 186 works just fine with my switch. How do I get Vonage to do a mac address swap from the Linksys to the Cisco?"

"Easy -- call them" (Vonage), posts another Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week, VonageTPA.

Before we close out today's Digest, I'd like to remind you once again about some more options you have to receive the Vonage Voip Forum Digest every day. If you go to this page:, you will see a list of RSS Newsreaders from which with one or two clicks, you'll be able to get your Digest delivered directly to your Newsreader each morning. The Newsreaders we've linked to on that page include such reliable and trusted services as Bloglines, Feedster, My Yahoo!, Newsgator and Feedburner. I am open to add others, just contact me with the info of the Newsreader.

That's what's hot about Vonage today. Don't forget to check with us Wednesday morning for the next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest- !!

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