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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - February 2, 2006


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

February 2, 2006

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. 

In the news, we'll catch up on some new areas Vonage has equipped for emergency 911, and then for local Vonage numbers in Arizona and Colorado. We'll also catch up on what a committee in Colorado's legislature decided yesterday about whether it will or won't allow cities in that state to tax services such as Vonage. We'll also point you to Vonage Forum threads on LEDs on routers that don't blink like they should, and about whether or not a used Vonage router can be reprogrammed with a new MAC (Media Access Control) address.

Lots of news today, so let's get started.



In The News

Vonage Passes One-Third Mark in Hooked Up PSAPs for E911

Vonage announces today that it has turned on emergency 911 service in more than one-third of the over 2,400 PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) across the United States. The company is proud of saying that it took them only eight months to do so, compared to the 10 years or so it took the cell phone industry to reach that halfway mark.  

And the pace continues. Just in the last week, Vonage has added emergency 911 service in more than 130 counties, including but not limited to the following. If you can't place the counties listed with cities within that county, I have included city info for each county. 

Portions of some counties I have listed have already had Vonage emergency 911, so in some of the counties below, their listing means that additional areas in the county have been added to Vonage's growing emergency 911 network. So I name a city associated with a county so you know where the county is. And in some cases, the largest city in the county and the county it is in share a name.

Here, then, are some counties where the addition of Vonage emergency 911 PSAPs has pushed Vonage above the national one-third mark in hooked-up PSAPs;

Colorado- Larimer (Fort Collins);

Connecticut-(my home state :-) Fairfield (Bridgeport);

Florida-Collier (Fort Myers); Orange (Orlando/Walt Disney World area); Palm Beach (West Palm Beach, Boca Raton); 

Georgia- Clayton (fast-growing county just south of Atlanta);

Michigan- Wayne (Detroit and many of its suburbs); 

Missouri- St. Louis;

New Jersey- Atlantic (Mays Landing); Bergen (Hackensack); Essex (Newark); Mercer (Trenton); Morris (Morristown); Somerset (Somerville); Union (Elizabeth;

New York- Westchester (White Plains and many other cities just to the north of NYC); 

North Carolina- Guilford (Greensboro);

South Carolina- Aiken (Aiken) 

Texas- Dallas (Dallas); Houston (Houston); Tarrant (Fort Worth).

"In less than a week, we have equipped an additional 130 PSAPs with 911 capabilities," says Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron. "This means that today more than one-third of the nations PSAPs are now receiving Vonage emergency 911 service. And Vonage will continue to work with the FCC, regulators, Congress and public safety until every PSAP across the nation is equipped with E911."

Vonage Adds Local Numbers In Several Arizona, Colorado Cities

Today, Vonage announces the availability of local number service in the fast-growing Arizona cities of Flagstaff, Prescott, Wickenburg and Yuma. This announcement means that Vonage customers living in these areas can now keep their current numbers or choose telephone numbers within the 928 Area Code.

And in Colorado, Vonage announced the availability of service in the fast-growing metro areas of Fort Collins, Loveland and Montrose, Colorado. This announcement means that Vonage customers living in these areas can now keep their current numbers or choose telephone numbers within the 970 Area Code.

Speaking of Colorado, legislators in that state rejected a bid yesterday to prevent the taxation of Vonage and other Voip services by cities in that state. 

The House Finance Committee voted 7-6 to defeat the measure proposed by Rep. Matt Knoedler, R-Lakewood, and also voted to keep the matter from being heard again this term.

Opponents claimed the measure could mean less tax revenue for municipalities as consumers switch to VoIP, and the lack of a tax on Voip would give VoIP services such as Vonage an unfair advantage over Voip offered by broadband cable and phone companies.

"If we say that wireline and cell-phone service should be taxed but not VoIP, almost everyone will transition" to Internet-based phone services, Arvada Mayor Ken Fellman told the committee.

The motion to free Vonage and other Voip services from taxation was backed by one of the U.S. largest phone companies- which happens to be based in Denver.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

New Vonage Forum Member Phreaker was "freaking" out just a bit about why the LED (Light-Emitting Diode) on his new Vonage-supplied router wasn't working. So he decided to start a thread, which he's named Constantly flashing power LED? (WRTP54G).

"I just got Vonage about 10 days ago. I didn't do much other than plug the new Linksys router, a WRTP54G into my (old) Linksys router to be sure I could make a call," Phreaker tells us. "That was, until yesterday when my number got switched over. I removed my old Linksys Wireless Router and replaced it with the one sent by Vonage.

"First, everything seems to be working perfectly. When I powered up the router yesterday I noticed the LED blinking and decided I should (read the manual)," he adds. "After reading I saw this meant it was updating its firmware. After a while I saw the unit reset and my PC lost the network connection, as expected. 

Phreaker then writes that when the router "booted back up everything started working again. However the power LED is always flashing and not at a consistent speed. It's a pretty fast flash, but sometimes it pauses with the LED on. If I had to describe it I'd say it almost looks like a hard drive indication LED while a hard drive is being accessed," he notes.

He says he's tried resetting the modem using the reset button a couple of times, leaving the power unplugged for awhile. But even after he does this, the router always powers up- but with flashing power LED. Phreaker then lists his setup, and asks his fellow Vonage Forum Members for some tips.

Only a little more than an hour after Phreaker made his post, current Vonage Forum Member of the Week Steve48 jumps in. 

"I hesitate to ask," Steve48 writes, "but you're sure that it's the power LED that's flashing and not the Internet LED?"

Then guess what. Phreaker comes back on with a new post in which he writes, "I turned the thing around when I mounted it. Yes, that's the Internet light. Don't I feel dumb, but thanks for the kind response."

No need to "feel dumb," Phreaker. We all have moments where we tend to overlook the obvious. Sheesh, I sure have had my own...

New Vonage Forum Member ben_vann has a question about a used Linksys RTP300 router he has just acquired. The nature of his question inspired ben_vann to begin a thread that he calls, used RTP 300.

"I recently purchased a used RTP 300 on eBay. The person I purchased it from said he cancelled the account and the MAC address should be available," he writes. Some tech I called at (customer service) said it could not be registered again. Is that true?"

No it isn't true, ben_vann. I responded by posting, "we get about one post a day just like yours, all from eBay-ers. Once it was on Vonage, it can not leave and then come back." 

I added that "this is often confused with a not so well known policy of Vonage to 'unlock' a device for a fee of $15, which allows you to do with that device anything you would like. 

"But, I added in my post and I point out here in the Digest as well - you can not reconnect it to the Vonage network>

So What Does All That Voip Alphabet Soup Mean?

Those last two threads sure had several abbreviations- LED, MAC, etc.

So 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 http://www.vonage-forum.com/voip-acronyms.html.

What Info To Post When You Are Having Tech Problems

As you just read, a good number of threads and posts on the Vonage Forum are devoted to a technical issue a Forum Member is having with his Vonage service, and questions as to what is causing the problem and how it can be fixed. Being able to provide such solutions is a major reason why we are here.

We have many knowledgeable Vonage Forum members who repeatedly have jumped in and provided advice that has led to solutions. Generally, the best way for them to help you is if you provide as much information as you can about your setup and the nature of the problem you are having.

This past summer, one of those knowledgeable and always Vonage Forum Members actually started a thread advising what info you should provide when you start a thread that asks for help with a Vonage-related issue. Trowski's thread is called What to post when having technical trouble with Vonage..... I liked his points so much that I have made this thread a "sticky," which means it appears at the top of the Vonage Voip Forum thread list you see when you go to http://www.vonage-forum.com/forum1.html.

Here's what Trowski advises that you post:

1. Your location
2. Your ISP name and type (cable, DSL, wireless etc)
3. Upload and download speeds
4. Modem make and model
5. Type of Vonage adapter used i.e. RT31P2 or PAP2
6. Setup of Network i.e. Modem---->Vonage Adapter-->PC
7. Issue you are experiencing i.e. dropped calls, choppy audio etc
8. DETAILED results from www.testyourvoip.com with a test call to Boston.

"This will help you get the answers/resolution faster if you can post that first....," he writes.

And I added, "that a detailed title is very important, one that does not have the words: "Please", "Help" or "Vonage" in it. And if you haven't already done so, please take a minute to read the forum rules prior to posting for the first time."

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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