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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - August 31, 2005


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

August 31, 2005

By Daniel Connor

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

Let us review what's in store for you in today's Digest.  With Louisiana and Mississippi still recovering from the terrible effects of Hurricane Katrina, we'll update you on what Vonage Forum members directly affected by the storm have had to say about their experiences. We'll catch you up on new information that has come to light on rumors that Vonage may become a public company, and highlight an article in which a respected international technology consultancy gives their opinion on Vonage's business prospects going forward. We'll also review two new interesting new Vonage Voip Forum threads on users with outgoing calls that aren't connected, are being misdirected, or are becoming choppy and are dropped as a result.



Vonage In The Headlines

Some Vonage Users Still Affected By Hurricane Katrina

As most of you know, and as we pointed out yesterday, big parts of Louisiana and Mississippi were affected by Hurricane Katrina yesterday. The areas that got the worst hits included New Orleans and Biloxi.

Whenever a storm or other natural disaster hits of this magnitude, it is natural for people in the affected areas to try and call out to assure loved ones they are OK. Sometimes, it is those loved ones that call in.

With that in mind, Vonage Forum Member VonageTPA started a thread yesterday that he called, "Due to the hurricane in the area you are calling...

One of our Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week honorees, VonageTPA expressed his concern that he was having difficulty calling New Orleans.

"I was wondering how long I could keep a connection going in New Orleans and it appears that time has come... Now I'm getting 'Due to the hurricane in the area you are calling, your call cannot be completed at this time," he wrote, adding that the error message at the end of the call was "030T." 

"Interesting phone message to say the least, but very eerie," he wrote.

Next, fellow Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week honoree Trowski weighed in.

"Exactly...I tried to call a buddy over there and could not get through," he wrote.

Shortly thereafter, VonageTPA came back to put things in perspective.

"I'm impressed by how well Vonage's (service) in New Orleans held in there. Certainly far longer than I had guessed, and it held up better than most of the TV & radio stations in the area," he wrote. "It was hanging in there well after entire telephone exchanges in New Orleans stopped responding."

Then, just today, new Vonage Forum member jpoc posted that he's tried to call some of his friends in the affected area, but without any luck. 

To that, VonageTPA has just added: "The cell network in the affected areas is badly beaten...and now is without power (backup batteries have been drained, any generators on-site have been flooded). On top of that, the towers are torn to shreds as well." 

But VonageTPA holds out hope, because with the exception of cell, the phone and Internet infrastructure in the affected areas seems to be coming back. "I just got off the phone with someone in central New Orleans on their landline and the call went through fine," he posts. 

Article Says Vonage Has Been Talking To Investment Bankers

When a company makes the transition from being privately owned and operated- like Vonage is - to a company that sells stock - like Vonage is rumored to be interested in doing- it most often works with investment banks to prepare them for the transition.

Technology news site Light Reading now reports that a couple of months ago, Vonage talked to as many as ten investment banks to select which one might participate in a Vonage Initial Public Offering. 

At the same time, other reports have said that Vonage might put itself up for sale.

Yet despite this uncertainty, Light Reading's Mark Sullivan thinks Vonage is in a good place.

"Finally, whatever path Vonage chooses, it has the added prestige of showing that it can raise money and win customers -- a noteworthy charm for investors and suitors alike," Sullivan writes.

Technology Consultancy Agrees Vonage's Prospects Are Good

This morning, the U.K-based technology publication The Register runs a report from London-based technology consulting firm Rethink Research that says "the Vonage brand has the pedigree to attract home phone users that just want cheaper residential telephony" (compared to traditional phone services). 

"It is these customers that are likely to be first in line to buy the shares, grateful to the company that has freed them from the high prices and callous attitude that sometimes goes with being an RBOC voice customer," Rethink Research writes. "Vonage has raised more than $400m in venture capital and it has more than 800,000 customers paying $25 a month for “all you can eat” telephony. Its customer base is growing at a faster rate now than when it started out. That’s what brand can do for you."

On The Vonage Voip Forum

First, some really cool news. Early this morning, the Vonage Voip Forum welcomed our 16,000th member! That would be kuyajoy. A "joy" to have you here, kuyajoy- and we're looking forward to reading your first post!

On a new Vonage Voip Forum thread named Very low percentage of outgoing calls connecting, Vonage Forum Member absurdone describes his problem. It certainly isn't "absurd."

"I am having issues with my Vonage IP service on outgoing calls," writes absurdone, who notes that his Vonage service uses his Time Warner Cable Roadrunner connection. "It sometimes takes 8 or 9 attempts to get through to a number we dial. This has been ongoing for us and is sometimes not an issue, though the one call one connection is a rarity for us."

Incidentally on that post, absurdone then pastes in the results he got when he tested his setup on www.testyourvoip.com. I've said it before but it bears repeating.. if you are posting about Vonage performance issue, running testyourvoip and then posting your results will help our other Forum Members diagnose your problem.

Then, reebok, whose 2,180 (no typo!!) posts are the most of any of our 16,000-plus members, posted this handy advice:

"Sounds like the dtmf tones are not making it or are being distorted," he wrote. (Absurdone) "has some packet loss which could easily account for it. many people (who do not have time warner) had a lot of problems with the pcx1100, but people with time warner don't seem to have the problems with it (since time warner fixed the issue on their network, but Comcast and others did not)." 

Then, reebok suggested to either try and get Time-Warner Cable to provide a new modem, "or otherwise have them check your signal levels (which are probably fine). He also suggested that absurdone try running www.pingplotter.com for a while to try to target the source of the problem.

Also on this same thread, fellow Vonage Forum Member thegooch49 had somewhat of a similar issue. A similar issue, but with a twist; some of his Vonage calls were being mis-routed to the wrong phone number.

"I did some troubleshooting with tech support last night on this," he writes this morning. "Found out that my outgoing calls are fine when the phone is connected directly to the Vonage router. When I go through my house lines, I get the dialing difficulty. Looks like I have problems or noise on my lines. Bummer."

We hear you, thegooch49.

"My POTS line is disconnected at the demarc, so it's not a voltage issue," he writes. 

But working with Vonage tech support, thegooch resolved the issue. "Tech support put my router in debug mode," he writes. "When dialing voicemail (*123), he (the tech) saw that *133 was registered instead. All problems were gone after I plugged directly into the router."

A new Vonage Voip Forum thread brings up a question I know a number of you have asked. This thread's name is Where is the problem - Vonage or ISP

New Forum Member prf says calls have been getting choppy, and occasionally are lost. "It seems to me there ought to be tests that I can run to try to determine whether it is Vonage or my ISP (Comcast)," he writes. "Too often I have a problem, run a speed test, get great results and then am stuck. Anyone have any ideas??"

Once again, reebok jumps in, suggesting that prf run www.testyourvoip.com, choose the Boston server option, and then post detailed results. 

Fellow Vonage Forum Member Canadian - who has only been a Member for one week but has contributed some great advice-asks that prf post configuration information, such as which adaptor he's using, where it is placed, and if he using your connection excessively when attempting to make or receive a phone call.

We'll keep up with that thread and let you know what prf finds out.

As 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: http://www.vonage-forum.com/syndication.html, 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 Thursday morning for the next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest!!




 
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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.

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