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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - September 15, 2005


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

September 15, 2005

By Daniel Connor

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

Today, we'll look at a Time Magazine article that describes how Vonage's success has surprised older phone companies. We'll check in on a famous pro football player as he does promotional work for Vonage in Kansas City. We'll learn about an award being given to a company in large part because it is working with Vonage on Internet service over a fixed wireless broadband wireless connections.  We'll read a Vonage Voip Forum thread in which readers debate whether better to have cable or DSL as your broadband service provider that you will use with your Vonage service, and also check in on a lively discussion about a particular brand of wireless cable modem that a Forum Member is thinking about using with his Vonage phone. 



Vonage In The Headlines

Time Magazine: Voip Will Change Our Lives

In an article that reviews several recent, quite big deals in the Voip space recently, Time Magazine's John Thottam maintains a key driver for these deals is the arrival and unexpected success of Voip service providers such as Vonage. 

"Making phone calls over the Web (also known by the acronym VOIP, for Voice Over Internet Protocol) is one of those radical new technologies that surely will change our lives, but no one is quite sure how," Thottam writes. "Big Internet players know they can't ignore VOIP, even at the risk of stumbling around as they figure out how to make it work for particular businesses." 

Directing his attention at Vonage, Thottam adds that "VoIP's young upstarts have already caught the giants flat-footed. Major telephone companies, for example, dismissed Voip as something too unwieldy for the average consumer. With Vonage now celebrating 1 million consumer subscribers," he writes, other, older phone companies "are racing to offer competing services."

A Day Of Touring and Autographs For a Famous Vonage Spokesperson

You may remember that in Tuesday's Vonage Voip Forum Digest, I wrote about a Vonage promotion in which several current and retired athletes will be visiting homes and businesses on Vonage's behalf. They will be giving thanks to those consumers and companies for subscribing to Vonage and helping Vonage pass the one million connections mark. 

One of those celebrity athletes helping in the effort is Derrick Johnson, a star rookie linebacker with the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs. On Tuesday, the Kansas City Star newspaper followed Johnson around as he toured Kansas City making promotional appearances for Vonage. In fact, Johnson went with a marketing representative to Circuit City (which sells Vonage equipment and services) and signed autographs.

"He's level-headed," says the marketing representative who accompanied Johnson on a long day of promotional appearances. In other words, unlike a few other athletes I could name (but better not) you don't get a "star trip" from this other kind of "Kansas City star"- and Vonage spokesperson, to boot.

Vonage Partner Company Wins Award For Its Work With Vonage

 TowerStream is the leading fixed wireless service provider in the U.S., using its network of towers in New York, Chicago,Los Angeles, Providence, San Francisco and Boston to deliver high speed, fixed wireless broadband to business customers. Last month, TowerStream announced that it had signed an agreement with Vonage to provide Voip to TowerStream customers.

Yesterday, Voip email newsletter FierceVoIP named TowerStream to its Fierce 15 list of emerging companies implementing a Voip solution this year.

"By forming an alliance with Vonage, TowerStream showed that it has recognized the importance of offering a Voip solution that provides business customers with reduced costs and quality service," said John Edwards of FierceVoIP. "TowerStream is also striking a blow to telcos and cable companies by providing an access alternative to small businesses."

 

On The Vonage Voip Forum

Vonage Voip Forum Member pickalow had a bone to "pick" with occasional "low" speeds he was experiencing cable broadband Internet service he's been using with his Vonage service. Those issues encouraged him to start a thread that he's named, ISP-cable vs. DSL.

"My current ISP runs on cable internet, and not only do the speeds fluctuate, but my bandwidth is constantly extremely restricted," pickalow writes. He reports that the cable ISP support crew "agreed, said they could do nothing, and gave me a big credit on my bill." 

But after that experience, pickalow wasn't entirely satisfied. "Now I'm thinking of switching back to DSL, as that will allow for a consistent speed, with less packet loss, choppy audio, dropped calls, etc.," he added.

Several Vonage Forum Members weighed in with their thoughts on what was causing the problem. Two of these insightful comments were by scerruti (our current Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week), and VonageTPA, another Member of the Week winner.

Guess what, though. Ever heard the term "the squeaky wheel gets the grease?" Sure seems to have worked here. As pickalow says, his broadband cable service, and the Vonage service he uses over it, got better after he complained to his cable company.

"Wow. They (the cable company) actually responded to my complaint, and they're actually fixing things for me!," pickalow writes. "Problem one discovered: the filter was faulty, so it was replaced and things are already a little better. Problem two: their line WAS faulty - they just had to look really hard to see it I guess. It's a thing out in my back alley that needs to be replaced, so the tech said this should happen in the next few days, and then my service will be as it should be."

Yea, back alleys and problems. I hear those kinds of things can happen.

On a new Vonage Voip Forum thread titled Motorola Surfboard SB900 Wireless Cable Modem, Forum Member libbyloo  wants to know what his fellow Forum Members think of the device. 

"I am looking into buying this modem to use with my Vonage phone," libbyloo writes. "I just want to hear if someone has this modem who is using it with Vonage to tell me what the experience is. This modem is going to cost me over $100.00 and if it does not work well with Vonage I am going to save the $100.00."

Fair question, libbyloo. In fact, a question that drew responses from Vonage VoIP Forum Member of the Week honorees reebok and VonageTPA.

"I would save the $100, get yourself a Motorola sb5100 (or just keep what you have) and get yourself a nice (wrt54g series) wireless router," reebok writes. He adds that in his opinion, there's "no need to put all your eggs in one basket."

Libbyloo then posted a response. "I am in the process to buy a laptop and go wireless on it," he explains. "I thought if I just buy a wireless modem, it would save me some space under the desk. 

Libbyloo adds that in such a setup, he would just use the wireless modem and the Vonage router instead of his current cable modem, plus a wireless router and Vonage router. That second choice, libbyloo writes, would amount to "a pile of hardware laying under my desk."

VonageTPA then adds his considerably worth-more-than-two cents, agreeing with the choice of the WRT54G. "QoS (Quality of Service) is a mandatory feature in my book," he writes. 

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. We'll be back on Friday morning with our next edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest, including our very popular In The Blogs feature!!




 
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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.

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