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HildBeft Posted:
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massrman Posted:
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massrman Posted:
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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - November 28, 2005

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

November 29, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. In the news, we'll tell you about an email  letter many Vonage subscribers received over the last few days about their E911 service. Because Friday was part of our Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., and we did not publish on that day, we'll run our popular In The Blogs feature today rather than Friday- where we call attention to what the bloggers we read regularly are writing about Vonage.  And we'll point you to a Vonage VoIP Forum thread from a reader who wanted to swap out his wireless router to a wired one, and wondered how doing so would affect his Vonage service..... Finally, we'll introduce you to our newest Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week.

Vonage In The Headlines

Vonage Customers Get Letters About E911

Today is the deadline imposed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that says Vonage and other Voip providers that are not able to guarantee complete E911 (Enhanced 911) access to callers must stop signing up new callers in areas where these companies do not have those services available yet. Services such as being able to automatically determine your location if you are using your Vonage line to call "911" from a place other than your physical address of record. 

The good thing is that subscribers in these areas will not be disconnected.

I do know that in those areas that are not yet equipped  these services, subscribers have been getting letters telling them what to do next. Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, several of my friends got these letters, which read like this:

Dear (Subscriber)

We have completed 911 Dialing activation for your Vonage line (number is listed here)

Now when you dial 911, Vonage will route your call to a general number at your nearest emergency response center, based on the address below:

(your address is listed here).

If this address is incorrect, simply click on the following link to login to your web account and edit your information from the 911 Dialing feature box.

Please note if you move your device you must reactivate 911 Dialing with your new address. If you add a line to your account you will need to activate 911 Dialing for that line as well.

If you would like more information about Vonage's 911 Dialing service, please visit the 911 Feature page at If you have any questions please reply to this email, or call us Toll Free at: 1-VONAGE-HELP (1-866-243-4357), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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 normally do each Friday but instead we are going to do today (as well as this coming Friday) we are going to give you a round-up of what the blogs we read have recently said about Vonage recently.

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

Om Malik of Om Malik's Broadband Blog doesn't write about Vonage this week, but I do recommend going back and reading a post in which he 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 believes that in order for E-911 over Voip to work best in the U.S., the FCC should look at the bigger picture of the E-911 infrastructure in the U.S. In fact, he praises a group of U.S. Senators from both parties that have written to the FCC recommending that this be done. "I think it is important for those of us attempting to promote and deploy IP-based communications services to recognize, thank and support those Senators who recognized the need to strike an appropriate balance between encouraging the rollout of new and innovative Voip services desired by consumers in a competitive market, and obliging interconnected Voip providers to deliver E-911 nationwide while providing them the necessary access requirements to meet that obligation," Jeff writes.

Tom Keating of Voip Blog thinks that Microsoft's newest XBox Live might eventually be extended to be a VoIP service "like Vonage." Tom doesn't make any new posts specifically 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 changes the name of his blog to Northern Telecom .. and Tech (he's from Canada, which is a northern country, and he writes about telecom and tech). Mark doesn't write about Vonage this week, but does write an interesting post about the business model of blogging. If you read lots of blogs and bloggers and wonder about what makes them go, that's an interesting article.

Russell Shaw of the ZDNet IP Telephony blog writes what some of us have known for awhile but many do not- that India is not the destination for all of those Level 1 (introductory) calls you make to Vonage customer care. He also makes a post about Vonage's independent sales agent program. 

Andy Abramson of Voip Watch tells us he's installing a T-1 line. Mostly used for business, T-1 lines are the way lots of business users use their Vonage service.

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 doesn't write about Vonage this week but does point down to a "duh" error a leading Vonage competitor made when they sent out notice of temporary service interruption (for an upgrade) after the scheduled interruption occurred. 

Tom Evslin, whose Blog often gets picked up by the AlwaysOn Network, writes that if a large existing phone company thinks they can get away with charging their broadband customers to use Vonage and other Voip services, well, that's even more reason to stick with an independent Voip provider like Vonage and stay away from the Voip services offered by that broadband provider. Good points, Tom. Here's the link to his post.

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 MusingMoney, a Blog about personal finance written by a guy named Trip. Yesterday, Trip made a post that he called Update: Vonage after eight months. Trip writes: "I posted about my switch to Vonage a while back. It has been a great choice. Since I switched back in March, I have not had one dropped call. Nor have I picked up the phone and not gotten a dial tone (hats of to the ISP for that too, Comcast). The web interface for accessing my account is very powerful. Adding lines, routing your number to another phone, and many other features are a simple click away. Vonage bills my credit card and emails me the receipt. 

"One small issue, which has been beaten to death on the Net, is the number of phones you can connect to the box," he adds. "I have four and the furthest one (upstairs) does not ring, but otherwise it works fine. There may even be a fix which customer service can provide (techie read). Oh yeah, one more interesting thing, I have noticed that I am getting silence when answering an incoming call every once in a while (about every 2-3 weeks). Could be Vonage. Could be gremlins.

Well, when there are "gremlins," you know the place to go- to the Vonage Voip Forum. Tell you what- let's go there now and catch up.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

Vonage Forum Member SuperDave has started a Vonage Forum thread with a title that is the same as his question: Is It Possible To Trade A Wired Router For A Wireless?

"I have been using Vonage for over a year. I bought my adapter at (BestBuy) and did a retail activation," he writes. "In our previous home the PC was in the middle of a single story home, and was accessible constantly. 

"Now we live in a 2 story home and the PC is one the second floor in the office," he adds. "The entire 2nd floor is bedrooms and baths, with our office. We are always on the first floor and I am going to get Notebook PC and attempt to go wireless. With my router and cable (high-speed Internet) on the second floor should I just add a wireless router to my setup, or can I deactivate my RT31P2 and replace it with the wireless model?"  

SuperDave adds that his cable goes into my SB5100, then he plugs in the RT31P2, then his PC. "I have 2 empty Ethernet ports. Could I put a wireless router into that without any conflicts?," he asks.

"It's possible to plug a wireless router into the existing Vonage adapter and to get it to work," Steve48 answers. "It's also possible to replace the existing adapter with a wireless adapter. Vonage can switch service from the old adapter to the new one. 

"It's a matter of getting someone in customer service who knows how to do it," he adds. If you get someone who doesn't know how, ask for a supervisor and don't take no for an answer.

Then fellow Vonage Forum Member Pepperoni "spices" this thread up with a couple of posts full of pointers. He writes in part:

"Just unhook the cat5 (cable) to your pc and plug in the wireless router. Reboot the modem, then power the router. You should now be wireless. (assuming PCs are wifi enabled.) Reboot your PC to pull a new IP from the new router. Try to get the router high in the center of the house (on the first floor). 

"If you have a signal problem, you can adjust the placement," Pepperoni adds. He writes that he likes to use a Belkin USB adapter with the extension cord and stand on his PC. He says that with that setup he can move the PC adapter for best signal. As a result, he writes, "I use a wireless router with no problems in coverage throughout a 2 storey house."

Time (and day) to meet our Vonage Forum Member of the Week. I got the idea to award this week's accolade based on a rundown I accessed of which Vonage Forum Members have made the most posts. Well, as you know, I make posts here frequently - 1,351 at last count - but there's one Vonage Forum Member that has more than doubled my total. That would be Reebok, who has recently passed 2,500 posts and was at 2,514 when I checked earlier this morning. But Reebok's posts - some o which you can read by clicking here - are not only quantity, but quality. So congrats to Reebok, our Vonage Forum Member of the Week. Don't let me forget: Reebok's also got a website called File Flash, where he is Systems Administrator and co-owner. I found out by going to the site that Reebok is 22, an alumnus of Barry University and is currently working as a Firefighter/EMT in Pinellas County, FL. 

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:, 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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†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 for details.

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