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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - December 23 - 27, 2005

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

December 23, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. Although we will publish a "year-end wrap-up Digest next Thursday, this will be our last "regular" edition of the year. My family, and I know many of yours, will be taking some well-deserved time off for Christmas!

In the news, we'll see how New Yorkers that were homebound by the subway strike could have used Vonage to get their calls forwarded from their office. We'll also read a review of Vonage and the Vonage-compatible Linksys PAP2 phone adapter written by someone who writes for a leading computing publication.  Because today is Friday, it's the day for our popular In The Blogs feature where we call attention to what the bloggers we read regularly are writing about Vonage.  We'll point you to a Vonage VoIP Forum thread from someone who would like to add additional calling capacity to his Vonage line. 

In The News

NY-Area Vonage Business Users Turn Office Into Home

I don't live terribly far from New York City, and I go there from time to time. During the early part of this week, New York was tied up by a subway and bus strike. As a result, a lot of New Yorkers- as well as commuters, decided to avoid the hassle and stay home. 

An article called "Strikebound Lean on Technology" that ran on the CBS News website yesterday made an interesting point. "Some business phone systems can be programmed to automatically forward calls to an employee's home or mobile phone," the article said, adding that  call forwarding is a standard feature with Vonage. "Most employees can at least change their outgoing voice messages to tell callers they're working at home during the strike," article author and syndicated tech columnist Larry Magid wrote in the piece.

Computerworld Includes Vonage In "Cool Stuff 2006"

Peter Smith, who works for Computerworld magazine, really likes the Linksys PAP2 Phone Adapter for Vonage Internet Phone Service. In fact, he includes a review of it in a new Computerworld article entitled "Cool Stuff 2006." 

Actually the article is not only about the PAP2, but about Vonage's service....

"I recently moved and had decided not to get a land line ... that is, until I saw how horrible my wireless coverage was in my new apartment. On a whim, I picked up this Linksys package," Smith writes. "I set aside a full evening to set it up, because, y'know, technology. First step was going to the Vonage site and setting up an account. That took about five minutes. 

"Step 2: Plug in the hardware -- power cord, Ethernet cable to connect it to my existing router, phone cord to a phone I had lying around. I picked up the phone ... and got a dial tone. Called a friend. It worked," he adds.  Total setup time: 20 minutes, tops. 

Smith adds that he has "been living with Vonage as my phone service for about a month and so far have no complaints. It's cheap ($24.99 a month for unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada) and has some cool features that your traditional phone probably doesn't have. For instance, I can check my voice mail via a Web browser. Alternatively, Vonage can send me an MP3 file containing the voice mail itself. And you can set up the system to automatically forward to another phone (in my case, my cell phone) if for some reason your Internet connection is down. 

But there's one more reason Smith really likes Vonage.

"I was able to transfer my old phone number to Vonage, even though I'm living in an area where I would normally have had a different area code," he writes. "And if this gets too confusing for the local pizza delivery guy, I can add a 'virtual' phone number with a local area code for another $5 a month." 

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  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 gives his opinion on Vonage's latest funding round of $250 million. He also writes that one of the leading softphone services- you know the one, sucks- bandwidth, that is.

Jeff Pulver of makes more posts in which he makes clear he thinks the U.S. Government should do more to modernize the nation's E911 phone system. Vonage announced earlier this month that it was fully E91-compliant. 

Tom Keating of VoIP Blog doesn't write about Vonage this week, but last week he argued against the concept of the U.S. taxing Voip services like Vonage in order to raise money for the Universal Service Fund, a program that among other things, helps subsidize high-speed Internet access in rural and poor areas. "This issue shouldn't just be about how much money we should tax and pour into the USF blackhole," Tom writes.  "We really need to consider the advantages that Voip bring to all Americans and figure out if it makes sense to continue the legacy of charging a tax for any type of phone communications. I would argue that IP communications and specifically Voice over IP communications is much different than the legacy TDM network. If we are going to tax "voice over IP", why not tax 'email over IP' or 'video over IP' or even simply tax Americans on a per-byte basis? We'll call it the 'Byte Me' Tax." Pretty clever, Tom.

Mark Evans of the Northern Telecom .. and Tech blog (he's from Canada, which is a northern country, and he writes about telecom and tech) also gives his thoughts about Vonage's $250 million funding round, which they announced earlier this week.

Russell Shaw of the ZDNet IP Telephony blog writes about Vonage's new UTStarcom F1000 VoIP/WiFi handset. 

Andy Abramson of VoIP Watch also writes about Vonage's $250 million funding round. "A healthy Vonage IPO is good for the entire Voip industry," he writes. 

Rich Tehrani of VoIP Blog doesn't write about Vonage this week, but like Tom Keating, is critical of this idea to tax Voip services like Vonage to pay for the Universal Service Fund. 

On Ted Wallingford's The VoIP Weblog, Ted agrees with a Forbes magazine article that predicts big growth for Voip providers, including Vonage, in 2006. And in a post that ran late last week, it's apparent that Ted isn't only critical of the idea backed by the U.S. FCC to tax Vonage and other Voip providers to help pay for the Universal Service Fund. Ted thinks this tax is such a bad idea, and would primarily benefit the traditional phone companies, he writes that FCC chairman Kevin Martin ought to be fired. 

On, there's an interesting and growing thread in which a reader there writes that he is using WinXP and trying to install a VPN connection to get the Vonage service working after some recent ISP bans. The thread is called, [Vonage] RT31P2 and VPN

From time to time, we like to feature interesting and entertaining posts from Blogs that are not necessarily about VoIP, but mention Vonage. I just found this wacky blog called Tales Of A Madwomyn. Blog author Elizabeth, who is a student at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., has a blog post called "I think I'm being mildly productive." (sounds like some days around here). Anyway, she writes, "I really like the Vonage commercial that has a guy in a lobster suit getting stuck in a revolving door in the background." Here's a link to that post.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

Well, this being a Holiday weekend (Christmas and Hanukah) for so many of you readers, I know that many of you will want to talk to several family members at once. Some may be in different locations. There's a new Vonage Forum thread about this very issue. It's called Conference call w/ more than 3 parties and it has been started by new Vonage Forum Member jmbergeal.

"I just got off the phones with 2 family members that live in France, using the conference call feature. Crystal clear, could not hope for better quality. But I had to leave my brother out! Anybody knows a way to get another participant in there?," writes jmbergeal, whose actual first name is Jean-Marie. "Can one of the parties called use the same feature to reach a fourth participant (though in my case nobody has Vonage over there)? 

Jean-Marie then asks if anybody knows whether the Vonage conference call feature may be extended to more participants in the future?

"Yes you can as long as one of the other parties in your call has a 3 way calling feature," new Vonage Forum Member sanditeguy  suggests.

Then Vonage Forum Member NateHoy suggests to jmbergeal that he "buy your brother a Vonage line on the $15 a month plan, then you can call him and you can each add one of your relatives in France."

Hey, that gave me an idea. Maybe after Christmas I'll start a thread here and call it something like "give Vonage, get Vonage for Christmas."

So What Does All That Voip Alphabet Soup Mean?

That last thread sure had several abbreviations. Hey, do all those abbreviations you read about in Vonage Forum threads and elsewhere confuse you? Well, we have a handy guide to all VoIP-related abbreviations you are likely to encounter, and what they stand for. So if you see another jumble of letters that doesn't make any sense, why not hop over to our Voip Acronyms page? You can find it at

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 Thursday morning with our year-end wrap up edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest!! Meanwhile, Santa Claus is coming to town!! I wonder if he will be able to fit that Vonage kit into his stocking!

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