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Vonage Customer Reviews
Salt Lake City: impressions after several months
Salt Lake City: impressions after several months



Review: My First Day With Vonage, Excellent!
Review: My First Day With Vonage, Excellent!



Great Price, No Complaints
Great Price, No Complaints



You need some common sense.
You need some common sense.



Vonage Customer Review: One month with Vonage, and...
Vonage Customer Review: One month with Vonage, and...




Vonage Reviews

Internet Phone Technology Makes Inroads In A-K Valley


Vonage In Print News

Internet Phone Technology Makes Inroads In A-K Valley

December 22, 2003

By Rob Amen

First you could receive mail through the Internet. Then shop. Now those who are computer-savvy can make telephone calls via the Internet.


Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, allows subscribers of cable television companies' broadband Internet services to place and receive phone calls through that line.

The new technology, called telephony, has traditional telephone carriers such as Verizon upset because, unlike with these carriers, Voip has no mandated fees and taxes per phone line and other add-on charges. That can substantially lower the cost of talking on the phone.

Armstrong cable company already offers this telephony service, and Comcast and Adelphia officials said their companies plan to enter the market in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Comcast spokesman Mike Smith said the cable company has begun Voip service in a Philadelphia suburb as a test market and plans to do the same in Indianapolis, Hartford, Conn. and Springfield, Mass. Comcast does offer standard telephone service in the Pittsburgh area, Smith said.

"The big issue (with VoIP) is, if you send (the message) over as data, it isn't a telephone call. It's data.

Therefore, it isn't subject to telephone regulations and cost structures," Smith said. "That's the huge issue that's before the (Federal Communications Commission) right now. How do you treat Internet protocol telephony? Do you treat it as telephone service or a data service? How they decide will have a big impact on how it rounds out."

Still, telephone carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have plans to enter the Voip field, and other major players such as Time Warner Cable and Qwest Communications either already have committed to telephony or will expand its test markets.

"We recognize it's an emerging technology, and we view it as an opportunity and not a threat," Verizon Spokeswoman Bobbi Henson said. "We think our record in the telecommunications field will provide us with a distinct advantage in terms of bundling and providing various services."

Dick Ross, general manager of Armstrong, said Armstrong's Voip service is handled by tech start-up Vonage, a New Jersey-based telecommunications company considered the first to roll out Internet phone service. Armstrong provides use of its existing lines for the service.

There's a one-time activation fee of $30, and Vonage sends an adapter box within two days. A Vonage spokeswoman says it can be installed in less than five minutes.
Ross said his company offers an unlimited calling plan for $40 per month or 500 minutes for $26 each month.

Ross said Voip users may be able to keep their phone number, but they have to request the number from their existing phone company. The process usually takes a month.
If Voip users want, they can change their area codes.

Someone from the Valley who moved to Denver who still has friends and family in the Valley can actually keep their 724 or 412 area code. That allows phone calls to those friends and family in the Valley to remain local calls.

Drawbacks do exist with VoIP.

Your phone will not work if you lose power, you must pay your bill with a credit card, and you must activate a sort of 911 service in advance by filling out a form that specifies the physical location of the phone.

The enhanced 911 system, which displays a caller's phone number and address, does not work with VoIP. The 911 snafu is expected to be addressed in the next year.



 
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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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