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In The Forum:
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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - February 24 - 26, 2006

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

February 24, 2006

By Daniel Connor

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

In the news, we'll learn which large U.S.-based office superstore retailer is selling Vonage equipment. Today is Friday, the day for our In The Blogs feature. The bloggers are really busy with posts about Vonage this week. We'll also go over an interesting Vonage Voip Forum thread abut local number calling from a regular phone line to a Vonage line.

In The News

Office Superstore Chain Selling Vonage Starter Kits

U.S.-based office superstore chain OfficeMax is going to sell Vonage starter kits. Office Max is offering the Linksys PAP2 Phone Adapter or the WRTP54G Wireless Router, configured with Vonage’s service.

OfficeMax specializes in sales to small, medium, and home-based businesses. The chain has nearly 1,000 superstores.

“Cost cutting is important to the success of any business, but especially small businesses,” said Ryan Vero, OfficeMax executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Vonage's Small Business Unlimited plan costs $49.99 per 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, 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:

Jeff Pulver of links to an article in which the writer cautions not to overestimate the ability of traditional phone companies to sharpen their business focus enough to compete with Vonage- and makes the point that the Vonage IPO may well do better than some folks think it will. In an earlier post, Jeff notes that the Spring 2006 VON show, which is next month in San Jose, California, will feature two speakers from Vonage. These speakers will be Jeffrey Citron, Chairman of Vonage, and Louis Holder, executive vice-president of product development for Vonage. In several other posts, Pulver repeats his sounding of the drums for net neutrality, which is the concept that companies like Vonage shouldn't have to pay extra to broadband Internet service providers for carriage over their networks.

Om Malik of Om Malik's Broadband Blog doesn't write about Vonage this week, but last week he wrote about what he sees as some of the challenges ahead for Vonage with their IPO.

Tom Keating of VoIP Blog notes that OfficeMax, one of the nation's largest office supply retailers and distributors, is now offering small businesses "starter kits" from Vonage. He also writes that he will try out Vonage's new directory assistance service, which is being delivered by Excell Services.

Mark Evans of the Telecom .. and Tech blog (he's from Canada, which is a northern country, and he writes about telecom and tech) doesn't write about Vonage this week, but like so many other Voip bloggers he offered his views about Vonage's IPO last week,

Russell Shaw of the ZDNet IP Telephony blog has two posts about Vonage E911. writes about Vonage's IPO as well By the way last week, I enjoyed his fascinating and fun piece about what some Vonage users talk about during their conversations with their significant others over their Vonage connection. Warning; it is PG, maybe even R, rated. Russ sometimes has a wild way of looking at things. OK, here's the link.

Paul Kapustka of the Paul Kapustka blog writes about former Federal Communications Commissioner chairman Michael Powell's statements about "net neutrality"- which Vonage Chairman Jeffrey Citron keeps speaking out about. He also gives Citron credit for bringing his company this far, sticking with it along the way, and also being a champion for VoIP, and  wonders why other companies tend to get credit for doing the same thing- but credit that they may not deserve.

Bruce Stewart of the new O'Reilly Emerging Telephony Blog agrees with other bloggers that the callout feature offered by one of the leading IP telephony softphone companies often mentioned as a key Vonage competitor doesn't have very good call quality when the feature is used to call regular telephone lines.

Andy Abramson of VoIP Watch doesn't write about Vonage this week, but he's always in the know and that's why he's got such a wide following.

Rich Tehrani of VoIP Blog writes the most detailed analysis about the Vonage IPO that I have read so far. "For those of you that remember when the Voip industry was full of doom and gloom (circa summer of 2003), who would have thought then that we would hear the words Voip IPO again? Who would have thought that the business would be where it is today? These are indeed exciting times and I wish Vonage a spectacular IPO that exceeds expectations," he writes. You can read Rich's full article at this link.

On Ted Wallingford's The VoIP Weblog, he doesn't write about Vonage this week, but last week he noted that some bloggers agree with the post he wrote last week in which he wrote that Vonage's IPO is actually a far better deal than some skeptics believe it is. "Vonage has pushed IP telephony into the mainstream and consumers recognize it as a brand leader in the sector. Vonage is considered by many mainstream consumers to be 'the new phone company', and, unlike the previous generation of (phone companies) who couldn't offer any unique value, folks actually recognize the distinction between Vonage and Ma Bell," he writes. "Also, compared to blue chip telecom stocks, which are going to get beaten down by fleeing revenue streams (fleeing to companies like Vonage), big telecom union contract costs, bloated legacy equipment costs, and ancient telecom regulations that are largely tripe, Vonage's stock appears to have much upside potential. Vonage didn't have to drop 2 billion dollars in order to capture a user base either."

One of my favorite new blogs is written by Jack Decker. In his Michigan Telephone, Voip and Broadband Blog (which isn't limited to Michigan-related telecom issues, by the way), Jack praises and links to a USAToday editorial backing net neutrality. He also defends Vonage's E911 capabilities. 

From time to time, we like to feature interesting and entertaining posts from Blogs that are not necessarily about VoIP, but mention Vonage. On a new blog I just found called Xthor's World (sounds like a great name for a sci-fi flick) blogger (guess who) Xthor is impressed with his Vonage service so far. On a new post he's just written called "Vonage Experiences," Xthor starts out by writing, "It's been a while since my last post. Mainly because I've been crazy busy at work and whatnot." Hey Xthor, we totally understand. Then he goes on by writing, "A friend of mine was chiding me because I haven't posted my experiences with Vonage. Well, I've been using it since October, and I have to say that overall I'm impressed. The call quality has been noticeably lower then our old Qwest line, the call cuts out for a split-second throughout the call. However, this is something you get used to. The upside is definitely price -- when you figure that it includes caller ID, voice mail, call waiting, and unlimited long distance, you just can't beat it. That's my opinion, anyhow. :)" Here's the link to Xthor's post about Vonage.

Guess what, Xthor. That's our opinion too. 

On The Vonage Voip Forum

On a new Vonage Voip Forum thread called Receiving Local Calls On Vonage, new Vonage Forum Member amwil describes the issue he'd like some more information about.

"My neighbor down the street cannot call my Vonage when he dials, 350-XXXX. He gets a messages that says, cannot go through as dialed," he writes. "It is my understanding that he must dial the entire 11 digits. 1-XXX-350-XXXX. Will he be charged for a long distance call??"

NateHoy reads amwil's question and posts some good advice. 

"He may or may not" (be charged for a long distance call), NateHoy writes about amwil's neighbor. "He should call his telco and ask if 350 is a local exchange to him, if it is not listed in his phone book.

"11 versus 7 digit dialing may simply be a matter of his local telco not having the "350" exchange in their routing tables as being within the area code yet," NateHoy adds. "That doesn't necessarily mean it's a long distance call."

How To Edit Or Delete Your Posts

Whether online or off, most of us have said things we later regretted, or realized we could have said or explained better. I know I have said my share.

I guess it is that trait in so many of us that makes at least some Vonage Forum Members curious about how to edit posts you have made, or even how to delete them should it become necessary to do so.

Here's an explanation of your options, as I explain on the Vonage Forum FAQ

Unless you are the board admin or forum moderator you can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post (sometimes for only a limited time after it was made) by clicking the edit button for the relevant post. If someone has already replied to the post you will find a small piece of text output below the post when you return to the topic, this lists the number of times you edited it. This will only appear if no one has replied, it also will not appear if moderators or administrators edit the post (they should leave a message saying what they altered and why). Please note that normal users cannot delete a post once someone has replied.

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 popular Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week feature! And soon, we'll be opening up that Member of the Week selection to your votes!!

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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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