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Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review
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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - September 16 - 18, 2005


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

September 16, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. Today we will look at a new bill being drafted in the U.S. Congress that if passed and signed, will have a major impact on Vonage, and Voip in general. In our popular Friday In the Blogs feature, we review what some of the Voip bloggers we read regularly have written about this week. Finally, we'll look at a new Vonage Voip Forum thread about why Vonage service fades in some parts of a user's home, and how to boost network speeds on Vonage setups that involve the router-like Apple Airport appliance.



Vonage In The Headlines

U.S. Congress Committee Publishes Broadband Bill

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee published a 77-page draft of a bill that has several provisions that would impact Vonage and other Voip companies.

The provisions require that broadband Internet service providers make "good faith" efforts to work with Voip companies in order to come up with business arrangements for Voip services to be used over those broadband lines. If a Voip company and a broadband services provider cannot agree on such terms, the Federal Communications Commission will offer mediation services.

Three other key points:

The FCC will have authority to decide whether or not Voip companies need to contribute to the Universal Service Fund, which supplies money to telecom and broadband services in schools, libraries and rural areas;

Port-blocking of Voip services by broadband providers is prohibited;

Voip services will also need to offer E-911 access to customers. That provision simply puts a Congressional approval on a course of action the FCC has already required.

In The Blogs

We read about 15 Voip and IP-telephony-related Weblogs. Some we read more than others, but we enjoy most of them. Face it, bloggers are opinion-shapers. So today, as we do each Friday, we are going to give you a round-up of what the blogs we read said about Vonage during that week.

Here's what the Voip bloggers have been writing about:

Om Malik of Om Malik's Broadband Blog gives his thoughts on what lots of folks see as Vonage's impending move to go public and sell stock.

Tom Keating of VoIP Blog gives his thoughts on what he thinks about eBay buying IP softphone service provider Skype.

Jeff Pulver of Pulver.com mentions that Vonage equipment was used by New Orleans officials to communicate with the outside world in the days after Hurricane Katrina hit. He argues that since no other type of communications was possible, that U.S. government officials and emergency planners should pay more attention to VoIP. Vonage, incidentally, has been honored as one of the Pulver 100. Pulver writes, "2005 has been an amazing year for Voip – and the companies named in the Pulver 100 have made significant contributions, by helping to spread IP communications worldwide with little or no dependence on traditional telephone network, equipment, or service providers. This year’s Pulver 100 continue to represent the future of the communications ecosystem, and we’re proud to honor them." He notes that many Voip providers (that happens to include Vonage) will be at the Fall VON show in Boston next week.. By the way, I'm planning on being there, too.

Erik Lagerway's SIPThat.com has a post in which he links to his Podcast interview with TowerStream COO Jeff Thompson. Recently WiMax provider TowerStream signed a deal with Vonage that will make it possible for Vonage to use WiMax networks. Here's the link to the post, and to the MP3 file, podcast of the interview itself.

Mark Evans of the Mark Evans Blog writes several posts in which he makes it plain what he thinks about eBay buying Skype.

Russell Shaw of the ZDNet IP Telephony blog tells what he thinks about the telecommunications bill Congress is talking about, and which I mentioned in the "Vonage In The Headlines" section of today's Digest.

Andy Abramson of VoIP Watch also has several posts exploring various issues around eBay's purchase of Skype.

Rich Tehrani of VoIP Blog gives his insights on eBay and Skype.

BroadbandReports.com has a Forum thread called speed test in which several posters discuss Vonage speed tests, the results they achieved, and what these results mean.

advancedippipeline's Paul Kapustka notes that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush talked to New Orleans city officials over a Vonage connection.

On Ted Wallingford's The VoIP Weblog, he makes it plain he's more upbeat about eBay buying Skype than some other bloggers are. By the way, Ted links to an article he's posted on the O'Reilly Network that explains Vonage and other Voip services. Here's the link: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2005/09/02/what-is-voip.html.

Finally, we sometimes like to link to posts that are not written by VoIP bloggers, but are written by "regular" bloggers who deal with Vonage.

In that vein, on Steve Mason's I swear it's not contagious blog, he writes about his experiences installing and now using Vonage service. Here's a link to Steve's post. Before you click I should tell those of you who have trouble with certain types of language that there's a four-letter word in there. "The experience with Vonage is absolutely wonderful," he writes. "I plugged in the router they sent me (a Linksys RTP300) behind my existing network consisting of a Linksys WRT54G. Plugged my phone into the router and without any configuration I had phone service. Now I did forward the ports Vonage outlines here. I also gave the RTP300 a static IP obviously for the port forwarding. Then on my WRT54G I have the RTP300’s MAC address a higher QoS than the rest of the nodes on my network to guarantee call quality. Majority of Vonage users will be able to forgo such advanced settings."

So speaking about Vonage call quality...

On The Vonage Voip Forum

On a new Vonage Voip Forum thread called Anyone have dead spots in their houses with vonage?, new Vonage Forum Member Randy_Lind says that when he walks around the house while talking to people over Vonage, his cordless phone cuts out.

"If you're on a cordless phone and you're walking around, it's likely the phone," writes Vonage Forum Member dabones. He advises Randy to try a different phone, or move the base to another spot in the house.

Agreeing with this is another Vonage Forum Member, bg4. He says "it is a cordless phone RF issue. The higher the base antenna and line of sight are both better."

On a brand new Vonage Forum thread called Slow network speeds with Apple Airport, new Vonage Forum Member bklyn complains about issues he is having with this router-like device.

" am running my Linksys router through my airport to get to the cable modem and am getting occasionally slow throughput," bklyn writes. The (Apple) airport is new so switching to a wireless linkys is not an option.

Bklyn also lists his configuration as: Motorola Cable modem - Airport extreme - Linkys router - phone. By the way, when appropriate, I recommend that you describe your config. Helps other Forum Members visualize your setup and suggest solutions.

"The following works great for me," writes new Vonage Forum Member painterjl: "cable modem to Vonage(Linksys RTP300) to Airport Snow to eMac to Uniden DCT646 phone."

And vman69 adds his setup and some insight, too. He describes his setup as Comcast cable Modem to Linksys RTP 300 to Airport Express (uses Extreme 802.11g).

"I did have to replace my old Snow Airport and I have a new G5 with Airport Extreme," he writes. When I had my Snow Airport, I was getting slow speed downloads. Now my other computers, using 802.11b, are getting about 4 megs down while my G5 is getting 6 megs down on a 6 meg plan with the Airport Express."

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 Monday morning with our next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest, including our very popular Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week feature!!




 
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