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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - November 18 - 20, 2005


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

November 18, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. In the news, we'll look at the possibility that within the next year or so, you just might have to pay a surcharge on your Vonage bill - and where that money will go. Today is our popular In The Blogs feature, and the bloggers we read regularly have some interesting posts we'll tell you about. And we'll point you to a Vonage VoIP Forum thread from a Vonage user whose computers seem to disconnect incoming Vonage calls. 



Vonage In The Headlines

Two U.S. Congressmen Propose Voip Tax To Fund Rural Broadband

Yesterday, two U.S. Congressmen proposed new legislation that would assess taxes on Vonage and other Voip providers for the purpose of funding subsidies for broadband deployments in rural areas of the U.S. that cable and DSL broadband access providers haven't yet hooked up because there are two few people in those regions to cover the cost of extending services to those areas.

On Thursday, House Energy and Commerce Committee members Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.) put out a draft of the Universal Service Reform Act of 2005. This act calls for new taxes to be added to Voip and broadband services to help pay for the Universal Service Fund - that would be expanded to subsidize rural broadband deployments.

Many experts say any changes to the Universal Services Fund will increase the price of Vonage and other services, because carriers such as Vonage would feel they should pass on those expenses to customer's bills. As to the amount to be taxed, the draft report isn't specific.

The public will be able to comment on the proposal through Dec. 23. It will be considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee sometime fairly early in 2006. 

Which isn't that far away, you know..

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 says that although broadband speeds in the U.S. are slower than in many other countries, it is the fact that some broadband providers charge less money for less speed that will help more subscribers sign up for broadband. And, I might add, the more broadband subscribers, the more potential customers there are for Vonage.

Jeff Pulver of Pulver.com writes several posts that show he has big problems with the nation's E911 infrastructure that Vonage and other Voip providers need to work with to guarantee E911 service over their lines. 

Tom Keating of Voip Blog doesn't make any new posts about Vonage this week, but even though he doesn't I recommend you check out his post with video from Vonage's headquarters and network operations center. After touring the center, Tom writes: "Well, Vonage has come a long way since their early days and this video can put to rest that Vonage doesn't care about customer service. They have a very professional looking customer care center and a pretty cool looking NOC I might add." If you want to reach the post where Tom has posted this video, click here.

Mark Evans of the Mark Evans Blog wonders why there hasn't been all that much talk lately about Vonage turning themselves into a publicly traded company. He doesn't make any conclusions, just points it out.

Russell Shaw of the ZDNet IP Telephony blog spotlights some known security problems on some Wi-Fi enabled Voip phones, but it looks like he doesn't mention any Vonage-compatible phones having these issues.

Andy Abramson of Voip Watch predicts that Vonage will offer video capability next year, but also makes a post saying that Vonage's advertising costs to get new subscribers keeps rising.

Rich Tehrani of VoIP Blog doesn't specifically mention Vonage this week, but he does mention a couple of new print magazines about Voip that his company is getting ready to start up 

On Ted Wallingford's The Voip Weblog, he points to a non-VoIP failure of 911 dialing, and wishes that failure got as much publicity as some of VoIP's shortcomings in that area.

Mark Milliman is an interesting new telecom and VoIP blogger I've just come across. He knows a lot about the technology but writes very clearly so that even non-techs can understand. This week, he spotlights those ongoing rumors that Vonage may be in talks to sell itself to SprintNextel or T-Mobile.

From time to time, we like to feature interesting and entertaining posts from Blogs that are not necessarily about VoIP, but mention Vonage. This week I will point you to Svenrox's blog at http://svernrox.com.  This week, he makes a post called Vonage Seems Pretty Sweet (Thus Far). 

"Dude, talk about "ease of u" he writes. "I got the Motorola ATA out of the box, plugged in the AC, plugged in the CAT-5 to my wall plate, plugged in the LINE 1 RJ-11 to my phone and picked up the phone and I had a dial tone! I dialed a number and my cell phone rang. Dude it was that easy! I couldn’t believe it. I just called Liz using Click-2-Call where I just open Outlook and her Contact profile and click the icon to call her home number. It then rang my phone, to pick up, and then connected me to my home number! When she answered, it sounded excellent. She couldn’t tell the difference from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service!) I said, "Can you believe we’re talking over the Internet?" to which she responded, "Well since I know what Voice over IP is, yes I can."  That stinker! I’ll keep you posted on how this works. I’ve got a month with it for free but I can already see that I’m probably going to keep it. It’s sweet!"

On The Vonage Voip Forum

Vonage Voip Forum Member TO has started a thread and named it Computers Disconnect When receiving a call, or just rings.

"I am using one of the original Cisco Voip systems with a Netgear WGR614v5 router with a Comcast cable modem," TO writes, adding that he's scored 2.8 on testyourvoip.com, and his phone calls sound great. But that's when the trouble starts.

"I have tried two different routers. I always get the same thing. I have a good internet connection, the phone rings, and my internet disconnects from all 3 laptops," he says. "After the phone call I am still disconnected. When I restart my wireless card on the laptops it reconnects. One other thing I notice that there is a numeric SID available to choose when reconnecting. It disappears later."

TO then posts his testyourvoip.com results, which has led to several Vonage Forum Members offering their ideas. One of those Members is Steve48, our current Vonage Forum Member of the Week. 

He writes in part that "poor test results are symptomatic of other problems. I'm surprised that you speeds are as good as they are, but you're still getting a lot of packet loss and discards." 

Steve48 goes on to advise TO to "try plugging a computer directly into your modem. If you still get poor test results, I would strongly suspect issues with your ISP, and would suggest that you give them a call."

So How Do We Come Up With Those Titles For You Members?

I am sure that many of you have noticed that next to each posts, we have a description of each Member- "Vonage Forum Associate," Vonage Forum Evangelist," etc. Most of these titles are assigned based on the number of Posts Members have made.

There's no secret formula. In case you are wondering, here it is:

New Forum Member 1 Post; Vonage Forum Member at least 10 Posts; Vonage Forum Associate, at least 25 Posts; Vonage Forum Junior, at least 40 Posts; Vonage Forum Senior, at least 75 Posts; Vonage Forum Master, at least 150 Posts; Vonage Forum Evangelist, at least 300 Posts, and Vonage Forum MVM, a minimum of 1000 Posts.

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 pick for Vonage Forum Member of the Week!!




 
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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.

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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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