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tplink Posted:
Im trying to add
my HT802 vonage
adapter to my home
network. I
currently have
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
Vonage behind switch
On Dec 05, 2016 at 06:35:11

DWSupport Posted:
After recent
Vonage update that
took place on the
4th and 5th of
Nov. E-mails with
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Voicemail Not Forwarding to Outlook Accounts
On Nov 10, 2016 at 12:23:26

peterlee Posted:
Had a call from a
Hospital in Ajax,
Ontario to my home
in
Scarborough, Onta
rio
...

In The Forum:
Vonage Canada
Topic:
Hospital Incoming call unable to connect
On Nov 08, 2016 at 11:59:50

TELLDOUG Posted:
I am looking for a
product that will
make my phone ring
louder so I can
hear using
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Looking for a ringer ameliorate
On Oct 26, 2016 at 09:21:30

HildBeft Posted:
You can recollect
password by
connecting the
router to your pc
and open the
browser
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
How to arrive at wifi password?
On Oct 20, 2016 at 05:05:49

HildBeft Posted:
Great tips..
Thanks for sharing
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
How to have Vonage and another land line?
On Oct 20, 2016 at 04:55:03

massrman Posted:
The devices are
available at
different price
margins , please
share your
estimated
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
IP PBX for small business
On Sep 30, 2016 at 00:48:03

massrman Posted:
Hi these are most
commonly used SIP
PBX interops and
their
configuration
guides,
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
IP PBX for small business
On Sep 30, 2016 at 00:37:45

Sammy00 Posted:
Has anyone setup a
W52p phone for
vonage? I have
a W52p with two
wireless handsets,
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
W52p Setup
On Aug 30, 2016 at 10:38:01

James44 Posted:
Hi, I am
looking for a good
Sip Trunking
provider in
Canada. they
should offer
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
A good sip trunking provider
On Jul 17, 2016 at 23:42:46


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Calling On Computers


Vonage In Print News

As Consumers Look For Alternatives To Land-Line Phones, Telecom And Cable Companies Are Offering Internet-Based Phone Services As A Way To Diversify Their Offerings And Grow Revenue

January 19, 2004

By Louis Hau

Time was, you paid the local telephone company for phone service.Period. End of story.

But consider the case of St. Petersburg resident Stanley Ferrebee. Three years ago, the 69-year-old retired truck driver wondered why he needed Verizon if he already had a cell phone. So he "cut the cord" and went wireless.

While the move helped Ferrebee reduce his monthly bills, chronic reception problems with his cell phone finally prompted him in October to reconnect his home phone.
But instead of returning to Verizon, he took a chance on the newest telecom trend: phone service over a high-speed Internet connection. Today, his home phone plugs into an adapter attached to his computer.

"I am waiting for . . . someone to tell me, "By the way, Stan, we forgot to tell you that you need to add this on, add that on,' " he says. "But it hasn't happened. It's as simple as can be."

The telecommunications market is changing at breakneck speed. And one of the focal points of the upheaval is calls made over the Internet.

Not long ago the idea seemed laughable. The first generation of Internet phone calls was strictly for techheads willing to put up with awful sound quality, unreliable connections and an earphone and mike plugged into a home computer.

Now you can call over the Web using a regular home phone and reach any phone number in the world. And while there are still significant safety and reliability factors to consider (see accompanying story), sound quality, service and features are often equal - sometimes even superior - to what you get from a traditional phone company.

Tampa Bay area consumers have a growing number of options to climb aboard the alternative phone bandwagon.

Last year, Vonage Holdings Corp., the largest independent provider of Web-based phone services, added the 727 and 813 area codes to its service, which is now nearly 2 years old. Other companies say they're considering Internet phone service for the future, including Bright House Networks, the area's dominant cable provider; long distance phone giant AT&T; and even Verizon.

Knology Inc., the West Point, Ga., company that recently took over Verizon's Americast cable operations in Pinellas County, plans to roll out phone service via its cable system around mid year, although its older technology does not send calls over the Internet.

While cable companies are on the verge of becoming serious competitors for phone services, their impact on major phone companies will remain limited this year, Merrill Lynch & Co. telecom analyst Adam Quinton said in a recent research report.

"But don't get us wrong," he said. "Longer term, we still believe that the breakdown of the walls that have historically separated the voice from the data worlds is a critically serious threat" to phone companies.

The rush of interest in Internet-based phone services is caused in part by improvements in all aspects of "voice over Internet protocol," as Internet phone technology is known, according to Lindsay Schroth, an analyst for the Yankee Group, a Boston technology consultancy.

In addition, Schroth said in a research note last month, companies in the telecom and cable markets are facing mounting pressures to diversify their service offerings and grow revenue, as cable companies face off against satellite TV carriers and phone companies lose business to wireless services.

Meanwhile, consumer demand for alternative phone-service options is climbing, judging from the early growth recorded by companies such as Vonage and Time Warner Cable in its initial Internet phone test market of Portland, Ore.

A recent Yankee Group consumer survey found that 42 percent of residential households would be likely to purchase phone service from their cable company for a 10 to 15 percent price discount, Schroth said.

"This is only the beginning of a very exciting and extremely competitive period," she said.

There are different ways to place a call via a cable connection. Knology uses the most established method. It starts a call on its cable system, then routes it through the traditional phone company system of circuits, switches and copper wiring.

This circuit-switch technology still accounts for the vast majority of the roughly 3-million residential customers who subscribe to a cable phone service, according to Blaik Kirby, a telecom analyst for Boston consulting company Adventis Corp. But that's not likely to last for long: Over the next five years, Kirby projects the number of cable telephone customers will surge to between 12-million and 22-million, with 90 percent of the growth from newer Internet-based services.

Phone calls placed over the Internet are sent as thousands of compressed digital packets that are converted back to a standard phone signal by the time they reach their destination. Unlike traditional phone networks, Internet phone service doesn't require a dedicated pathway on a network. Instead, packets can travel along different network paths.

As a result, Internet phone technologies make it possible to send a much larger volume of voice, data and video content. That, in turn, will make it easier and less expensive for phone service providers to offer features such as video conferencing, consolidated voice- and e-mail and multimedia packages. The technology is already used on some phone networks to complete international calls.
Cable providers will be able to offer discounted bundles including TV, phone and Internet services.

The big phone companies aren't just watching and fretting as cable TV companies move into the Internet phone business. The phone companies also are jumping into the market because of the technology's lower operational costs and because it could make it possible to offer local phone service in markets they don't already serve. Regional "Baby Bell" companies Verizon, BellSouth, Qwest Communications and SBC Communications - the regional powerhouses created when a federal judge broke up the old AT&T monopoly in 1984 - are selling Internet phone services in test markets in preparation for broader offerings later.

Verizon said this month that it plans to start replacing its traditional circuit switches with Internet-friendly packet-switching technology that will help it offer future phone and video products.

The Baby Bells' revenues from traditional phone service are declining due in part to pressure from other Internet-related technologies such as e-mail and instant messaging. That's a big problem, according to UBS Investment Research analyst John Hodulik, because those revenues account for about 60 to 65 percent of the companies' fixed-line revenue and at least 75 percent of their profits.

With so much at stake, questions about how, or whether, to regulate Internet phone companies have come to the fore. Supporters of new alternative phone services say they need to be unfettered to innovate and prosper. Representatives of the Baby Bells say the new contenders should face the same requirements they do, or the old-line phone companies should be freed from constraints.

In one highly watched case, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in August ordered Internet phone provider Vonage to register with the commission as a phone company. But in October, a federal judge imposed a permanent injunction blocking the order.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to open formal deliberations soon on the issue, although a final determination may not come in this election year.
FCC chairman Michael Powell has said Internet phone services "should evolve in a regulation-free zone."

Part of the challenge for regulators, UBS analyst Hodulik told the FCC during a hearing in December, is that phone calls over the Web represent a collision of the unregulated, anything-goes world of the Internet with the heavily regulated world of traditional phone services.
Eventually, he said, new and old phone services will meld and "it will become increasingly difficult to determine what is a traditional phone call."

To adapt to this new world, many experts agree that the FCC will have to revamp regulations that now govern phone service.

For the moment, the lack of regulation of Internet phone companies means they typically don't pay the same fees to tie into local phone networks as traditional carriers do.

In addition, they don't pay a variety of federal and state charges required of other phone companies. And they don't make the customary payments into the federal universal service fund, a long-time subsidy to ensure affordable phone services for low-income households and those in rural areas, where the cost of providing service is higher.

(However, Vonage began collecting a monthly $1.50 "regulatory recovery fee" last year to reflect the regulatory fees it pays as a consumer of telecom services.)
"There's this (traditional phone) network out there which was deployed under a century of government-sanctioned monopoly," said Chris Murray, legislative counsel for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. "People are still going to have to use the network in some capacity, and we're going to have to find a way for (Internet phone service) to match up so that it makes sense. . . . I think we're definitely in for an overhaul of the system, I just hope consumers don't get trampled in this dance of elephants."

Meanwhile, Internet phone customers such as Stanley Ferrebee can consider themselves pioneers of sorts.
Ferrebee is a Vonage subscriber. He says he came across an ad for Vonage while surfing the Web and decided to give it a try.

He pays $25 a month for unlimited local calls and 500 long-distance minutes. Installing Vonage's digital phone adapter "was so simple it was pathetic, anybody could have hooked it up," Ferrebee says.

"I can't say anything but good things about them," he says.
- Louis Hau can be reached at hau@sptimes.com or 813 226-3404.

Calling Options

Here is a selection of Internet phone services and some of their monthly rate plans, rounded to the nearest dollar:

Vonage: $15 for 500 minutes of calls to the United States and Canada; $25 for unlimited local calls and 500 minutes of long-distance; $35 for unlimited local and long-distance calls. All calling plans include unlimited inbound calls, voicemail, call waiting, caller I.D., call forwarding, three-way calling, call transfer and free calls to other Vonage customers. Requires an adapter, which the company provides free of charge, but there is a $30 activation fee.

IConnectHere: $6 for 400 minutes of outbound calling only (no inbound calls) to the United States and Canada; $11 for 1,000 minutes. Add $9 for unlimited inbound calls. Unlimited inbound calls from Britain and Israel available for $16 and $19, respectively. Requires a cable/DSL router (usually about $35 to $40) and either $109 adapter to use a regular home phone or $39 Internet phone. All calling plans include caller I.D. and other features that vary depending on whether you choose the adapter or Internet phone.
Dialpad: PC-to-phone calling only, no inbound calls. $7.50 for 300 minutes within the United States; $10 for 500 minutes; $19 for 1,200 minutes. Requires headset with microphone and free downloadable software.

Net2Phone: PC-to-phone calling only, no inbound calls. No calling plans, per-minute rates only. Calls to United States and Canada 3.9 cents per minute. Requires headset with microphone and free downloadable software.

Skype: Free unlimited calls from your computer to any other Skype user in the world. Requires a headset with microphone and free downloadable software. Started by the same people who founded the controversial file-sharing program Kazaa.

Vibe Phone: Video phone service to other Vibe Phone users only. Provides what company says is higher quality audio and video than free instant messaging services. Rates are $5 a month for 100 minutes, $10 for 250 minutes and $20 for 650 minutes, plus 10 cents a minute for additional time. Requires 12-month contract and Webcam (usually about $30 to $100).



 
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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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