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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - March 22, 2006

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

March 22, 2006

By Daniel Connor

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

In the news, we'll find out what a leading DSL service provider who many of you use for your Internet connection now says about third-party services like Vonage. In a similar vein, we will catch up with that dispute between Vonage Canada and broadband access provider Shaw Communications.  We'll also go over two very interesting Vonage Voip Forum threads about dropping Internet connection speeds and how best to configure Vonage E911 for a new address that is so new it doesn't even appear on some maps yet.

In The News

Major Telecom CEO Says They Won't Hinder Vonage Calls

I've been writing a lot about net neutrality, which is the concept that in part says those big DSL and cable broadband service providers many Vonage customers use to access the Internet and their Vonage service wouldn't be able to assess extra fees for Vonage and other big bandwidth users.

Yesterday, at the TelecomNext conference in Las Vegas, AT&T's Ed Whitacre, the CEO of one of the companies that has been claiming they ought to be able to charge those fees said they wouldn't try to do so.  "Any provider who blocks access to the Internet is inviting customers to find another provider," Whitacre said in his keynote speech. "It's bad business." He then emphatically stated that AT&T would not block independent services, "nor will we degrade [Internet access]. Period, end of story."

At the same conference, Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin said that he thinks the FCC  has the authority necessary" to enforce network neutrality violations, noting that the FCC had in fact done so in the case last year involving Madison River's blocking of Vonage's VoIP service.

"We've already demonstrated we'll take action if necessary," Martin said. But he did add that he thought it would be OK for broadband service providers to charge for higher levels of performance and speeds.

Vonage Canada-Shaw Communications Dispute Continues

The dispute between Vonage Canada and broadband access provider Shaw Communications continues. Vonage Canada has charged Shaw of unnecessarily and unfairly charging its Internet customers an optional $10 Quality of Service Enhancement (QoS) fee for improving performance when they access Voip service through third-party providers like Vonage.

"So the obvious implication is that if you don't do it you'll have quality-of-service issues with a Voip provider that is not Shaw," Joe Parent, Vonage Canada marketing vice-president, tells Steve Makris of the Edmonton Journal.    

But Shaw president Peter Bissonnette countered that he is doing Vonage a favor by offering enhanced performance. "QoS is another offer to give our customers a better experience, no different than our different speed offerings," explaining to Makris that it may be hard to see the enhancement benefits because the Internet is a "living breathing animal."

Makris points out, however, that Shaw is offering its own digital phone service, which does not require the enhancement fee.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

On a new Vonage Forum thread entitled Vonage and Internet speed drop, new Vonage Forum Member DJGodden describes a very interesting situation he is experiencing with his Vonage service and Internet connection.

"Since getting Vonage yesterday I've seen a dramatic (decrease) in my download speed," he writes. "The Voip meter indicates my speed is like a 100k ISDN line when I've got a Charter High Speed 3gb line which was blazingly fast until yesterday. Since it appears to be associated with Vonage, is there a way to correct this?"

DJGodden then describes some of his system set-up basics, which are Cable -> Motorola Surfboard -> Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router -> Linksys Hub -> Computer/Vonage.

VonageTPA - who writes from the experienced perspective of having made around 3,500 Vonage calls in the last eight months, is both first, and quick, with an answer.

"The Vonage routers are basic devices, not meant for heavy usage," he writes. VonageTPA then advises DJGodden to move his computer to the hub or WRT54G's ports and leave the Vonage's ports open unless absolutely necessary....or buy a larger/additional hub/switch to handle the # of computers he has.

Today doesn't exactly seem to be Vonage Forum Member tvalentine's "day." (Sorry for the pun but it's Wednesday in a long week). Anyway, he describes his issue in a thread he decided to start and name, New Street and Vonage E911.

"I live in a new housing development and my home address does not show up on MapQuest, or the verification software they use to setup 911 dialing," tvalentine writes. "I have spent the past 4 weeks working with support to override the system, but they have yet to do anything about it. It seems all they do is try different variations of the address, even though I have verified with them it is correct."

He then asks for tips and suggestions.

Every once in awhile, I like to jump in and offer recommendations. 

"Go to your very closest neighbors house (a non-Vonage customer), call your local 911 center’s Admin Non-Emergency phone number (best if done during business hours) and tell them that you are about to make a non-emergency test call (fully explain the situation)," I've explained

I then suggested that tvalentine dial 911. "When the 911 center answers," I have written, "explain the issue very quickly and ask them to read back to you the address that they have on record, verbatim.

After that, I've suggested that tvalentine provide that info to Vonage, subbing out his house number for his neighbor's.

Check Out Our New Archives Section 

Looking to see what has been on the minds of Vonage Forum Members back through the more than three years we have been doing the Vonage Forum?

I'd like to tell you about a new section we have called the Vonage Forum Archive. Here, you can look at a list of threads by topic, or even browse through a month's worth of postings. Interesting reading: some issues change over time, while others- like those router and connection issues, never seem to go out of style. And that's good: helping Vonage users is a big reason why we are here.

Anyway, to look at a list of older posts where there have been no new comments in 60 days, go to:

To browse through month-by-month lists of older Vonage threads and posts, go to .

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 next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest !!

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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.

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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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