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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - April 24, 2006

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

April 24, 2006

By Daniel Connor

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

First, I have some really good news. Around 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time this Saturday morning, the Vonage Forum tallied our 26 millionth page view since we kicked things off around here in March, 2003. Every time anyone goes to any part of the Vonage site and clicks on a page, that's one page view. So this means you have done this more than 26 million times. We're already past 26.1 million page views, so let's see how quickly we can get to 27 million !!!

Well, we never rest on our laurels around here. Seems today is a very busy day, so let's just do that- and get busy.

In the news, we'll learn about a new Linksys-Vonage trade-in program, and catch up on some new developments in the controversy about a Belize Internet service provider that appears to be blocking access to Vonage. We'll hear how a auto racing team co-sponsored by Vonage did this weekend.   We'll also update our look at  a Vonage Voip Forum thread about a burned out adapter and a possibly blown out router intended for use with Vonage's service, and take a look at configuration options for a new DSL router a Vonage Forum Member wants to set up to work with his Vonage service. Today is Monday, the day we meet our newest Vonage Forum Member of the week.

In The News

Vonage, Linksys In Big Router Trade-In Promotion

Linksys and Vonage have a trade-in program for customers interested in upgrading their existing router for a Linksys Wireless-G Router configured with Vonage. For a limited time, customers can trade in their used router -- any brand, any model -- for a Linksys Wireless-G Router with 2 Phone Ports (WRTP54G) for free(*) (after rebates), when they sign up for Vonage's broadband phone service.

The companies are calling this promotion "BIG Trade-In Wireless-G for Free with Vonage." 

The promotion enables customers to get two of the latest and most innovative technologies at the same time: Wireless-G and VoIP. With the Linksys Wireless-G router with Vonage, users can now experience networking speeds up to five times faster(**) than Wireless-B, which Linksys (now part of Cisco) says means users can download and transfer their music, movie, photo and other files up to five times faster with Linksys 802.11g technology. 

Belize To Hold A Public Forum On Voip Blockage

On Wednesday  April 26th, 2006 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, under the theme “Opportunities and Threats for Voip in Belize, the Belize Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will hold a public forum on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to inform the general public and stakeholders and to receive their views on VOIP. Members of the business community, especially in the tourism industry, have been in an uproar since Belize Telecommunications Limited started to interfere with the use of the cheap telephone services such as Vonage and others.

PUC Communications Manager Anne Wade says her office has been flooded with calls, letters and e-mails from people frustrated about the treatment from BTL. “We are expecting a very lively session," she told the San Pedro Sun, a Belize newspaper. 

The newspaper said the forum will include presentations on the international perspective and the domestic legal framework. Representatives of government, telephone companies, internet service providers, the business community and consumers will also present. Following the presentations there will be an interactive session between the panel and the audience.

The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is one of many groups who are opposed to the prevention of Voip services in Belize. “The Board is appalled by the actions of BTL,” said Andrew Godoy, BTIA Director. “We have heard from many of our constituents and this is negatively impacting their business.”

Tom Vidrine, President of the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce (ACCC) told the Sun he has received over a hundred letters that he plans to hand deliver to the forum. “It (the use of VoIP) is vital to our businesses,” stressed Vidrine. He said he has even heard from potential businesses that may change their plans to invest in Belize if the country allows this practice to continue. “I’ve had so many people say they can’t live here or operate without the ability to affordably make international calls.” Vidrine added he plans to tell the PUC that affordable communications plays a vital role for the growth of Belize. “They are just shooting themselves in the foot,” he stressed.

Wade said the PUC will record the forum and use the information to determine the best course of action. The PUC regulates telecommunications along with electricity and water. Wade added that the PUC will work quickly after the forum to address the issue.

By the way, did you know that we have a very popular Vonage Forum thread on this whole issue? It's called Belize (BTL) Blocking Vonage & Others?. I just linked to it in the last sentence.

Rough Day At The Track For Vonage Co-Sponsored Race Car

At Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, Pacific Coast Motorsports' #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley was forced out of the VIR 400, Round 5 of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, due to engine-related issues.

Heading to Virginia International Raceway this weekend looking to record their first top-ten finish of the season, team-mates Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel were optimistic heading into today’s race having run inside the top-ten throughout practice on Friday and taking 12th on the grid following yesterday’s first-running of the qualifying race format, albeit shortened courtesy of heavy rain and the resulting track conditions.

Well into the race, co-racer Alex Figge pulled into the pit, experiencing a loss of power. Teammate Ryan Dalziel climbed in as the pit crew looked into the issue. But apparently there were too pit crew members over the wall.

Add to that, when Dalziel pulled out of the pit, the power problem remained. Unable to complete his lap, the crew called it a day.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

I would like to update a Vonage Forum thread we highlighted Friday called RTP300 power supply adapter failed during primary setup, new Vonage Forum Member tango_tams describes his situation.

"I am trying to configure RTP300 in India (Hyderabad). Using reliance broadband connection with 128KBPS unlimited, got a static IP," he writes, adding that he connected the devices as mentioned in the Installation and Troubleshooting guide.

Next, tango_tams describes his steps, which were:

Powered off laptop DELL Inspiron 2200), connected the broadband cable to the Internet port, connected Ethernet Network Cable to port 1 and the other end to the PV, and connected the power adapter to the router's power port.

Tango_tams then details what happened next.

"The laptop power adapter and router power adapter both were connected to SPIKE GUARD, as soon as I switched on the spike guard the lights flashed on the RTP300 router for10 secs and later the router power adapter started stinking with burning smell and the spike guard fuse had gone bad," he writes.

"My brother sent it from US and now I need to know if I need to get any other adapter with same inputoutput statistics or do I need to get a adapter that can work the RTP300 in INDIA." he points out.

Only a little more than an hour after tango_tams made his post, current Vonage Forum Member of the Week NateHoy posted a reply.

"You can use any 12V adapter that is capable of 1A or more of 12V output. I think it should be pin (center) POSITIVE, ring (outside) NEGATIVE," NateHoy points out. "At least that's what it is on the WRTP54G, which is the same router with wireless.

NateHoy then tells tango_tams that he should also be able to take the fried adapter into any electronics store and get a replacement 12V power supply. "Just have the tech there check the plug size, polarity, voltage, and amperage capacity."

Then Nate adds this important point: "Was this 110 or 220 power? The power adapters supplied with the RTP300 and WRTP54G are, unfortunately, NOT voltage auto-sensing.

"Hopefully, the burnout did not continue into the RTP300," NateHoy writes.

Then, VonageTPA -another of our most knowledgeable members- makes a key point.

"Most parts of India run on 230vAC, 50Hz," he mentions, "so you sent the power adapter twice as much power as it was designed to run on. "Hopefully you've not blown out the RTP300, but I would be a bit worried about it."

At that point, tango_tams comes back with a follow-up post.

"Thanks Nate and VonageTPA for your immediate responses" writes tango_tams, adding that because the RTP300 doesn't release a burned out smell the way his power adapter does, that he doesn't think the blowout continued to the RTP300. He does say he will take the gear to the store to get the RTP300 tested- and to purchase a new adapter.

Now for the update...

On Saturday tango_tams writes: "Thanks to the forum and the members NateHoy and TPA......issue is resolved...this post can be closed," he notes, adding that he did get a new adapter as suggested.

"Info to Hyderabad folks : all types of converters adapters can be purchased at CTC," he posts.

Then, even after tango_tams writes that he has solved the problem MarleyX comes on with an alternate suggestion.

"You could (have) also got a pap2. I have used it in Japan several times. The power supply that it comes with supports a range from 100 - 240 volts and both 50 and 60hz. All you have to do is pull out the prongs which are removable. Then you're left with two contacts flat on the underside of the adapter. 

"Then buy an extension cord from Japan and cut off the female end," MarleyX adds. "Then solder the two wires to the adapter. After you do that take some electric tape and wrap it around the exposed wires. The Fold the cable you attached over the tape and re-tape it." 

MarleyX adds a buyer-beware, though: "They are supposed to have tabs for these adapter to use in other countries. But I think they are a rip off."

Because new Vonage Forum member ering was confused about some of the alphabet soup he has been encountering during a new router he was hooking up with his Vonage service configuration, so he decided to start a thread with his questions. He named the thread settings -cbr, ubr or vbr and others.

"I have a new DSL modem router, ZYXEL 660h-61. There are several setting on the WAN for ATM QoS, what should I use?," ering asks. "CBR, UBR, VBR? Also there are Peak Cell Rate, Cell rate and sustained cell rate settings."

Up steps scerruti with a detailed but understandable answer.

"CBR identifies your link as time sensitive traffic with a constant bit rate. If your line was only for Vonage then you would use this setting and set the cell rate settings to reflect the aprrox. 90kbps used in each direction by Vonage's highest quality setting," scerruti writes.

"UBR identifies your link as unspecified bit rate, it characterizes your traffic as non time-sensitive of varying capacity," scerruti points out. "This would be used for the general case of the file trader who has a lot of volume but prioritizes overall throughput rather than timeliness of packet response."

"VBR is broken into real-time and non-real-time versions. Both imply that the amount of traffic is variable but levies some requirements on bandwidth and latency," adds scerruti. "Real-time adds a requirement for time synchronization. I am not certain what VBR means in your case. This would be the most appropriate setting. However your cell rates could not be adjusted without respect to the other traffic on your network. At a minimum peak cell rate should be 100kbps + the amount of other traffic on your network. Sustained cell rate should be at least 100kbps."

Next, scerruti adds that in reading the documentation for this modem he would suggest that ering leave the Peak Cell Rate (PCR), Sustained Cell Rate (SCR) and Maximum Burst Size (MBS) at 0. 

"This will automatically configure the modem to match your line speed. Any other setting is designed to throttle your modem's performance to enhance overall network performance. This is good, but can only be done by the network operator because it requires knowledge of the network characteristics".

He then points to the modem documentation, which in the manual says this about the QoS setting:

" 'Select CBR to specify fixed (always-on) bandwidth for voice or data traffic. Select UBR for applications that are non-time sensitive, such as email. Select VBR for bursty traffic and bandwidth sharing with other applications." '

Taking it all in, and getting to the resolution, scerruti suggests to ering that his  best results would come from CBR. "VBR might actually improve overall network performance for the ISP (and that may help you) but I don't know if it will negatively affect your quality," he writes, adding, though, that he is uncertain how ering's modem would automatically choose cell rates in that case.

Well, it is Monday, time to meet our current Vonage Forum Member of the Week. Not only because of the help he rendered in the post we just reviewed, but all in all Vonage Forum Member scerruti (Steve Cerruti) has a great week. And guess what: he has now made more than 1,000 posts. In passing that 1,000-post threshold early this weekend, he became only one of six Vonage Forum Members (not counting your humble moderator) to get to that level. But it's more than just quantity for Steve, it is quality of posts. To see what I mean, you should read some of scerruti's posts. You can do so by clicking here.

What Does All That Alphabet Soup Mean?

Wow, that Vonage Forum thread we just went over sure had several abbreviations! 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

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 Tuesday morning with our next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest,!!

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