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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - May 30, 2006


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

May 30, 2006

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. In the news, we'll catch up on a rise in Vonage's stock price, as well as some interesting viewpoints from a veteran technologist that doesn't sound too surprised about that. We'll see just how close a Vonage co-sponsored race car came to winning the Indy 500, and also . We'll also go over Vonage Voip Forum threads on Vonage service over satellite Internet, and adding a second Vonage line. And because we didn't have an issue Monday on account of Memorial Day here in the U.S., we'll announce our Vonage Forum Member of the Week today.



In The News

Vonage Closes At $13.03

On Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, Vonage stock closed at $13.03 a share. That's actually higher than Thursday's final price, which was $13.00 a share. Total trading volume for Vonage Friday was 16,790.000 shares. The NYSE was closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

Vonage Stock Up, IPO Defended

As I just noted, Vonage's stock price closed slightly up at $13.03 a share on Friday. And although it is no secret that a lot of experts have been disparaging Vonage going public, a near 40-year IT industry veteran and tech investor named Cormac O'Reilly begs to differ. He makes his case on the authoritative UK technology site The Register.

Here's what he writes:

"Truthfully, us technologists have always been totally defeated by Wall Street's logic, or what appears to be a lack of it. Let's look at a few things the frenzied Wall Street analysts missed in their condemnation of Vonage.

"First, Vonage grew its customer base from around 100,000 to over 1.5m in three years - a fifteen fold market increase. And it did so without missing a beat.

"Secondly, on recently entering the European market, Vonage has started to become a global telephone player, successfully competing in a marketplace now dominated by geography entrapped, high priced local telephone companies.

"Thirdly, Vonage plays in a well articulated niche within the telephone market - home and small business - using its low cost call tariff to dramatically undercut the incumbents' pricing. And its high feature product (including bundled internet and email access to voice mail) puts them to shame.

"Its service also builds on the reality that people rely on their mobile phones first and use their "wired" phones as back up, mainly to avoid the expense of long distance and international mobile calls.

"Whether connected to a home telephone (connecting the adapter to a single point on the home wiring), or used on the road via a high speed internet connection in a hotel or office, Vonage provides a low cost telephone service pivot.

"Finally, Vonage has room to grow, and can do so by continuing to leverage the internet to avoid expensive infrastructure, building on exponential broadband expansion and exploiting its almost zero-cost, self-service administration model.

"In my own use of Vonage's $14.99 monthly service, outages were rare, call quality was better than on a mobile phone and, even in the worst case (my internet connection takes a hit), callers still get my Vonage voice mail.

"Vonage's biggest competition in this arena (apart from the large telcos) is Skype, which uses a PC rather than a telephone, so in my mind is a very different niche. And anyway, collectively, Skype, Vonage and the cable companies have less than .01 per cent of the traditional telephone market, leaving plenty of room for growth.

"These positive aspects of Vonage's business - growth figures, established niche positioning, global presence, future price/profit upside - were absent from the Wall Street analysis and discussion."

I happen to think Cormac is spot on.

Vonage-Sponsored Michael Andretti Third At Indy 

Michael Andretti,  driver of the #1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished third in the Indy 500 on Sunday. 

Michael, who took over the lead on lap 194 during a caution period, led for four circuits before the top-
two finishers slipped by. The third-place result matched his second-best performance in 15 starts on the 2.5-mile
Indianapolis oval.

After starting from the 13th position, Michael moved quickly into the top 10 and then settled into the
eighth spot for the majority of the race. With just eight cars on the lead lap for the majority of the back half of the
200-lap event, the Jim Beam/Vonage crew took advantage of its spot in the running order and began to work a
fuel strategy to position Michael for a shot at the win.

The strategy was playing out to perfection until the final caution flag flew on lap 191 and erased the
advantage. Michael took the point under caution and then restarted out front on lap 196 before dropping to third.
Winner Sam Hornish, Jr.'s margin over Marco at the finish was .0635 of a second, making Sunday's event the second-
closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history. 

"Right now, this feels like another heartbreak. But I think in another couple days we're going to sit back
and think, 'Oh, wow, who would have ever thought it would come down to that?' We were running one and two
with just a few laps to go in the Indy 500, and [Marco] almost pulled it off," Michael Andretti said after the race. 

Vonage To Stop Collecting Long-Distance Tax August 1

On Friday Vonage applauded the U.S. Treasury Department for ending the decades-old Federal Excise Tax (FET) on long distance phone service.

Vonage says it believes the ruling also applies to voice over IP services such as Vonage's and in accordance with the ruling, the company intends to stop collecting the 3% fee and aid customers in applying for their refunds.

"This ruling is good news for everyone who believes in open and low-cost communications," said President of Vonage America Inc., Michael Tribolet. "FET was originally imposed as a luxury tax to fund the Spanish-American War over 100 years ago. In the era of flat-rate service packages and bundles, Vonage customers shouldn't be subject to this tax and we commend the Treasury Department for freeing our customers from it."

Vonage plans to stop collecting FET tax from its customers on August 1, 2006, in accordance with the timing for elimination of the tax for Voip service set forth by the Treasury. The Treasury Department says customers who have paid FET on phone service are entitled to refunds, including interest, on their 2006 income tax returns filed in 2007. To this end, Vonage says it will also provide its customers with information 90 days after the excise tax is eliminated to help them apply for their refunds.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

In a new Vonage Forum thread called Satellite internet Vonage Forum Member Corky  sounds a bit frustrated.

"I have Satellite internet.....no land line phone at all ..setup....Wildblue modem ....vonage router ....computer (laptop)...phone ....first week hookup was great...now can call out but not receive calls," he writes, adding that he was not able to resolve the issue when he spoke to Vonage tech support.

Then Corky adds that according to his speed test, his Internet access speed is 256 kbps, but on the Vonage site it is only 21 kbps. "This makes no sense to me. "Satellite Internet works great...fast but slows down when phone router is hooked up."

Fellow Vonage Forum Member ripken204 writes to Corky that 256 kilobits per second is what your test is giving you, which converts to 32 kilobytes- and there are 8 kilobytes per kilobit. "Vonage is reporting your speed in kilobytes," he points out.

Then Steve48 adds that Vonage over satellite Internet connections usually don't work well. "The latencies are just too high," he points out.

Because New Vonage Forum Member Henryl wanted to add a line to his Vonage account, he's opened a new thread that he has named Add line.

"I need to add new line to my account," writes Henryl, adding that he already has a telephone adapter.

Vonage Forum Member butterman notices Henryl's post and follows up with some details.

"You can do this on-line on the Vonage site. Just login to your account and select Add-ons from the menu and then select Add an Additional Line," butterman writes. "You will have the option to get a second device for free if you want it." 

Then butterman adds that the benefit of this is that if one devices goes bad you have a second device on that will work for both lines. 

"You don't have to get a second device, but just wanted to mention why it might be a good thing to do," points out Butterman. "I didn't do this when I got my second line and I regret it.... although my first device that I got in Nov 2004 is still working fine."

This past week was another great week for advice from our current Vonage Forum Member of the Week, Steve48. So let us simply vote him in for another week. To browse through a list of some of Steve48's most recent posts, click here.

Check Out Our Fax, TiVo, Alarms Forum

Do you use your Vonage connection to send or receive faxes, call the TiVo service for updates, or perhaps most important of all, automatically call your home security service? 

Well, if you have questions on issues relating to these needs, you should go to our Fax, TiVo and Alarms Forum. Here's where you can research your issue, or even make a post with your question or questions. This growing section of the Vonage Forum's picked up their 3,000th post earlier this month. Here's the link.

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




 
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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 www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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