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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - December 1, 2005


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

December 1, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. In the news, we'll tell you what Vonage is saying about why they haven't quite gotten to the point yet on E911 they would like to, and what is standing in their way. We'll point you to a Vonage VoIP Forum thread from a reader with a question about his Vonage/Linksys equipment, and another thread from a reader with a configuration screen access issue.



In The News

Vonage CEO Says Most Phone Companies are Blocking E911 Solution

Back in July, the Federal Communications Commission gave Vonage and other VoIP companies 120 days to comply with its order requiring enhanced 911, or E911, in all their service areas. Areas where E911 is not yet fully enabled would be off-limits to new signups.

The deadline to show the government where E911 is available was Monday. In its compliance report to the FCC on Tuesday, Vonage said only 26 percent of its customer base had full E911 services. But Vonage doesn't feel the issue is their fault. In its filing, Vonage said it was capable of transmitting a call back number and location for 100 percent of its subscribers, but that it still was waiting for cooperation from competitors that control the 911 network.

House and Senate lawmakers have urged FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to give companies more time and more tools to speed deployment, but no extension has been granted as of yet.

Now, it has come out that Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron has been complaining that some traditional phone companies are standing in the way of a solution that would satisfy the FCC mandate.

In a Nov. 14 letter to FCC chairman Kevin Martin, Citron accused at least one major traditional phone company of not fully cooperating with Vonage's efforts to identify unassigned phone numbers, that can be used to link out-of-area phone numbers to a local E911 operator.

The current E911 system works by associating a given phone number with a geographic area. But calls are rejected from numbers that don't match a particular region. For example, if a Vonage customer with a 312 area code, which includes downtown Chicago, temporarily relocates to, or is on a road trip to, say, downtown Los Angeles and then calls 911, the existing E911 system rejects the call because it doesn't match the 213 area code used in Los Angeles.

To get around this problem, Vonage and other Voip providers access local phone numbers that can be temporarily assigned to dial into the E911 networks' local routers. This fools the router into thinking the call has been made locally.

To ensure 911 callers get an operator instead of a busy signal, a VoIP service provider needs to make sure the local phone number it has selected is not already in use. But Vonage says that only one of the four large regional phone companies it needs cooperation from is fully on board so far.

"We are 90% compliant with the part of the process that we control," says Brooke Schulz, vice president of corporate communications and regulatory affairs for Vonage. "We can get our customers’ calls to the selective routers. But once they are there, we are dependent on the (major regional phone services) to provision (technical elements that would make this work) but most of them have not finished the provisioning of these elements, and some of them haven’t started.”

We'll keep you up to speed on this issue.

But Vonage Will Seek an E911 Waiver

As I reported yesterday, Vonage spokesman Brooke Schulz said Tuesday the company would "absolutely not" stop offering Voip to new customers, noting the company has requested a waiver from the FCC rules. "We will continue to market our service." Vonage told the FCC in its waiver filing that it believes 61 percent of Vonage's subscriber lines will be E911-capable by the end of the year. Vonage added that sometime in the first half of next year, more than 97 percent of its subscribers will have full E911. The FCC had no comment on Vonage's waiver request or its decision to continue offering Voip to new customers.

 

On The Vonage Voip Forum

 New Vonage Forum Member groveboy has started a thread called Question about Vonage/Linksys wireless box.

"Does anyone know if Voip is hard-coded into the WAN port?," he asks. "I want to know if I can use it behind another router?"

I then made a post saying that you can do this. I included a description of my setup with pictures of my equipment which includes:

  • Linksys BEFCMU10 Cable Modem 
  • Linksys BEFSR81 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 8-Port Switch 
  • WRT54GP2 Wireless-G Broadband Router with 2 Phone Ports  
  • Linksys WAP54G Wireless-G Access Point, which I have also connected to the router.

Then, I posted that when I installed the Linksys BEFSR81 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 8-Port Switch (I was connected directly to the Vonage / WRT54GP2 Wireless-G Broadband Router with 2 Phone Ports via the modem before) the new router picked up the login/password info of the WRT54GP2 somehow.

A few hours after I made that post, Vonage Forum Member bassplayer joined the discussion. 

"No idea if its hard coded to the WAN port but basically, as Dan I think is suggesting, you can just connect the WAN port on the Vonage box to your LAN," he writes. "In this sense, WAN just means the outside world (as opposed to the inside world over which the router could offer DHCP etc etc)."

Vonage Forum Member RJL 46580 has started a thread that he's titled VT1000-Disabled DHCP-Now Can't Access Config Screen.

"My set-up (for now) is the VT1000 off a port of my existing router. Then I have a computer behind the VT1000," RJL writes. "I disabled DHCP/NAT on the Motorola VT1000 because I couldn't communicate with the rest of my home network. 

"With DHCP/NAT disabled, everything is now running fine, except I can't communicate with the VT1000!," he adds. "Trying to reach it by 192.168.102.1 does nothing. 

RJL then asks if anybody knows the backdoor address into the VT1000?- or is he stuck with having to do a hard reset if he  ever needs to change anything?

RJL then follows up with a new post that includes more details.

In his follow-up post, RJL adds that he  tried rebooting everything, tried various addresses, tried another computer on the network." The issue seems to be that the VT1000 wants the computer to have one of its 192.168.102.xxx addresses before it will talk," he writes. "By disabling DHCP/NAT, the computer behind the VT1000 has one of the router addresses (in my case 192.168.1.xxx)."

Then, Vonage Forum Member IronHelix made a post in which he offered his advice.

"You probably already did this, but remember, to do what you want you have to plug the computer directly into the LAN/computer port on the VT1000, set up the IP address of your comp to be 192.168etc static, and then do it," he writes. "If there's a router between you and it, it won't work, and it also won't work from the WAN port."

Well, that seems to have done the trick. I can say this because I've read RJL's follow-up post in which he's written, "after trying this a couple of times, it finally worked. I had to set WinXP to DHCP, then disconnect the WAN.

"Very nice Helix!," RJL adds. "You are a steely eyed missile man."

Well, because of threads like this -- with Forum Members helping each other find solutions- that's one reason I do this Vonage Forum.

And speaking of you Members, you might be wondering ...

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 Friday morning with our next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest, including our popular In The Blogs feature!!




 
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