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

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

HildBeft Posted:
Great tips..
Thanks for sharing

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Hard Wiring - Installation
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

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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

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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,

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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

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A good sip trunking provider
On Jul 17, 2016 at 23:42:46

James44 Posted:
Which network
connection do you

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Wireless Access Point plugged into switch
On Jul 13, 2016 at 22:55:00

jjatsk Posted:
We are renting a
few offices right
next door to our
main building. I
have a wireless

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Wireless Access Point plugged into switch
On Jul 09, 2016 at 12:00:54

Pman Posted:
Hello, While
Vonage has been a
great service over
the years, it is
time to part

In The Forum:
LNP – Local Number Portability
Cannot port phone number to new carrier - repeated failures
On Jul 05, 2016 at 09:12:07

jbugz67 Posted:
We recently
purchased 5
Polycom VVX 300
phones from
Vonage, and have

In The Forum:
Nothing but problems with VVX300
On Apr 15, 2016 at 14:58:07

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Reach Out And Upend An Industry

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An Entrepreneur’s Act II: Internet Calls

February 15, 2004

By Matt Richtel

Jeffrey A. Citron, the man who hopes to turn the telephone industry on its ear, works in a cubicle just down the hall from the “ Tony Soprano” conference room. Nearby are the “Meadow” and “Uncle Jr.” rooms, though if those are full, Mr. Citron’s staff could gather in “Dr. Melfi.”

The conference rooms at Vonage, an Internet telephone start-up in Edison, NJ, where Mr. Citron is chief executive are named for characters from “The Sopranos.” That hints at Mr. Citron’s embrace of the unconventional, a trait that has made him a danger to some of America’s most entrenched industries, but also at times to himself.

In the 1990’s, he helped to pioneer computerized day-trading, putting a thumb in the eye of Wall Street’s biggest companies. He amassed a fortune but wound up leaving the industry after he was charged with illegal trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Though admitting no wrongdoing, he agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine and was banned from the securities business.

Mr. Citron, the Sequel, is no less ambitious. Already one of the nation’s wealthiest 30-somethings, he aims to use Vonage’s Internet technology to bring fundamental change to the telephone industry, one of the most entrenched and tradition-bound economic sectors. “I’m going to change the world,” Mr. Citron, 33, said in an interview last month over lunch at the New York Palace Hotel. “I did it before. Why not again?”

There are plenty of reasons. Mr. Citron’s own investors acknowledge that Vonage may be zapped out of existence if it somehow misfires, its customer care problems persist, major rivals provide better service or regulators take steps like insisting that Internet phone companies pay the same fees as the rest of the industry.

Yet even skeptics credit Mr. Citron with helping to create an inflection point in the telephone industry by turning Internet telephony – which had long been just a great sounding theory – into a viable product line.

In a little more than a year, he has signed up 100,000 customers who use his black box to connect their traditional telephone to the Internet. Customers pay a flat fee of around $35 for unlimited local and long-distance phone service, though that figure does not include more than $40 a month that subscribers must also spend for the high-speed Internet access used to transmit the calls.

Industry analysts say Mr. Citron’s success has hastened development of the technology by major telephone and cable companies, which are clearly following his lead. AT&T and Time Warner Cable, for instance, have recently announced their own voice-over-Internet strategies; Verizon, Qwest, Cox Cable and others have said they intend to deploy the technology, too.

Their efforts to come not only in response to Vonage, but in the larger context of the upheaval in telecommunications. Since the deregulation of Ma Bell, a simmer of competition has turned into a boil. Companies deploying many technologies, from cable to wireless, are vying to create voice infrastructure that they hope will enable them to generate and capture billions of dollars in fees from subscribers.

So Vonage faces competition not just from big telecommunications companies but also from start-ups even tinier than itself. One of them, Skype, makes free software that lets people talk directly over computers – like a voice version of instant messaging – thus bypassing the telephone altogether. Another start-up Net2Phone, offers Internet phone service directly to consumers (as does Vonage) and works with cable operators to help sell phone service over their lines.

Facing off against them all is a man who, by many accounts, is a study in extreme capitalism, not Harvard Business School niceties. Mr. Citron is not about polite cocktail conversation and low-carb diets; he leans more toward rolled-up sleeves, gut decisions and fast food. At the recent lunch at the Palace hotel, he ordered the salade nicoise, but mispronounced in nih-KO-see.

In other words, he is not the kind of guy who asks for permission slips. Just as he barreled into Wall Street seven years ago, breaking china along the way, he is now barging into the telecom fray. In doing so, he has put himself in position for a great entrepreneurial comeback.

“He’s out for redemption; he wants to prove he can do this, and do this properly,” said Harry R. Weller, a partner at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm that invested $12 million last year in Vonage. After Mr. Weller’s firm conducted extensive due diligence on Mr. Citron, it decided to forge ahead with the investment, despite what Mr. Weller describes as the significant risk inherent in the technology and the man behind it.

That investment was followed last week by a $40 million round of financing from two other venture firms: 3i Group, based in London, and Meritech Capital Partners, based in Palo Alto, Calif. As part of the deal, the investors have structured the board so that Mr. Citron does not have control over it – in part, Mr. Weller said, to make sure that Mr. Citron is kept within bounds.

Still, Mr. Weller said investors were convinced that it takes a personality like Mr. Citron’s to shake the foundations of the telephone industry.

“You need somebody who knows how to disrupt an industry,” he said. “You need to have a very, very aggressive entrepreneur. What we have to make sure to do is take the best of Jeffrey Citron.”

Mr. Citron grew up on Staten Island; his parents worked in the insurance business. As a boy, he says he did not know where his interests lay so much as where they did not: in school. He often skipped class, keeping mostly to himself, but he said he scored well enough on tests to offset his absences.

He made a quick transition from high school to Wall Street. In 1988, at the age of 17, he joined Datek Securities, were his father had close connections. By 20, he had made his first million as a trader.

Mr. Citron left Datek in 1991 to start his own firm, where, with a computer whiz named Josh Levine, he built the foundation of a computer-trading network called Island. It let individual traders swap shares inside the system – without help from the big Wall Street firms.

“Island was truly revolutionary,” said Bill Burnham, who was an analyst at Piper Jaffray during the dot-com boom and is now a venture capitalist at Softbank Capital Partners. “It allowed individual investors to get direct access to the market to compete and get the same advantages that professional market makers do.”

Mr. Citron returned to Datek Securities to create and become chief executive of Datek Online Holdings. Its technology allowed individuals to make their own trades automatically for $9.99, far less than the fees charged by full-service brokers. Datek Online became the nation’s fourth-largest online trading firm.

But to regulators, Mr. Citron and his associates were involved in something afar less upstanding. The Securities and Exchange Commissions contended that from 1993 to 1998, he and others were involved in a scheme to use automated trading systems to manipulate Nasdaq, exploit loopholes and make millions of dollars.

In October 1999, amid the scrutiny, Mr. Citron agreed to resign as chief executive of Datek Online. The investigations into Mr. Citron and his associates led to the agreement in January 2003 in which seven former executives and traders at Datek paid a total of $70 million in fines. Regulators said they had created fictitious customer accounts, used them to place their own trades and filed false reports.

The $22.5 million fine Mr. Citron paid – one of the largest in SEC history – only dented his wealth. In 2000, he sold his stake in Datek to private investors for $225 million. Today he lives in a mansion in Brielle, NJ with his wife and two children.

But wealth isn’t everything. There is also reputation. And Mr. Citron says he wants his back. What happened at Datek “was 100 percent about being young,” he said.

“We were young, we were naïve, we were inexperienced, and, yes, there were backroom dealings,” he added. “But that is part of a lot of industries. This time, we are doing it differently.” “This time” began with a helicopter ride. Mr. Citron flew from New Jersey to Melville on Long Island in the summer of 2000 to meet with Jeffrey Pulver and the other principals of a company called Min-X was trying to create a market where companies could trade excess phone network capacity in blocks of minutes, in much the same way commodities like oil are traded. The principals approached Mr. Citron for financing.

He invested what he calls a “significant portion” of the $12 million raised in that first round of financing. But it was far from an arm’s-length transaction. He took an active role in the company, immediately replacing Mr. Pulver as chief executive and then changing the concept for the business. Mr. Citron said that it was while flying from California to New Jersey in December 2000 that he decided to focus the company on offering Internet-based telephone calls, transforming it into Vonage.

The quick decision jibes with this overall philosophy that a good business idea does not require endless analysis. “If you can’t figure it out in 4 months, you shouldn’t do it,” he said. “If you can’t figure it out in a week, you shouldn’t do it.”

The concept of Internet-based calling was not new. It generated much buzz during the dot-com boom and was being pushed heavily by technology companies like Cisco Systems, which wanted to sell equipment that would be used to route calls as data.

The basic idea is to transmit telephone with the same technology used to handle e-mail and other Internet traffic. Calls are digitized and delivered as packets of data, rather than as traditional voice signals.

That may sound simple, but the reality was much more complex, particularly because the existing telecommunications giants had spent a century investing in a different type of technology, called circuit switch.

Mr. Citron was hardly the first person to understand that Internet calls were potentially less expensive than those made using circuit switch – for a variety of reasons. With circuit switch technology, a telephone line is dedicated to a single conversation. But when the packets are sent as data, that line can send many signals at once, making far more efficient use of the telecommunications infrastructure. In addition, Internet equipment is less expensive and gives operators and consumers more control over voice traffic – for instance, allowing people to get an e-mail reminder each time they receive a voice mail message.

But for all the advantages, and the hype, no one had figured out the basics: how to affordably hook a traditional phone into the Internet, then send a voice stream directly to another telephone. Mr. Citron and a small team spent the first half of 2001 working to solve the problem.

Louis Holder, a co-founder of Min-X who is now in charge of product development at Vonage, said it was a time of voracious fast-food consumption (“Everybody put on 10 pounds”) and exhilaration. “Nobody had done this in the consumer space,” he said.

The breakthrough came late on a Thursday night in June. Mr. Holder said he, Mr. Citron and two engineers figured out how to send a digitized call from one telephone to another through a firewall, a defense barrier between a computer or network and the wider Internet.

Initially, the company wanted to create partnerships with cable companies to help them in their assault on traditional telephone companies. But there was skepticism. Vonage was regarded by some executives as a leftover from the bubble. Besides, the cable companies were having their own problems, punctuated by the bankruptcy of @Home, which delivered Internet access over cable.

So in April 2002, Vonage started a consumer-based service. Secretly, the company hoped that if cable companies saw that Vonage was successful, the would consider signing partnerships, Mr. Holder said. But then Vonage took on a life of its own. Within 18-months, it has amasses 100,000 customers, and Mr. Holder said the company expects to have 250,000 by the end of this year, and 500,000 by the end of 2005. Vonage says it will be profitable this year.

Blair Levin, former chief of staff to Reed E. Hundt, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission during the Clinton administration, said that Vonage had proved that Internet calling could be done, and that it was forcing a giant industry to follow more quickly than it might have otherwise. “It’s going to have a huge historical impact,” Mr. Levin said. “Vonage was a match that was put on some pretty dry timber. But it was a match.”

But Mr. Levin, like many others, said he wondered whether Vonage would be a historical footnote or a viable concern. “The question is: What is their defensible asset?” he said, noting that other companies can provide the same kind of service as Vonage, but with the added benefit of having well-known brand names and deep-pockets. “They’re playing in a world in which, traditionally, economies of scale and scope matter a huge amount.”

An executive at a major telephone company, who requested anonymity, said Vonage was not seen as real competition. And the cable companies, which are vying to use their high-speed lines to deliver phone service, say they can do it far better than Vonage. Cox Communications, based in Atlanta, says that its version of Internet-based calling is more stable than Vonage’s because it operates the data network, giving it more control. Even Mr. Citron conceded that this was as possibility. “Clearly, there might be some advantages,” he said of the cable industry.

Indeed, Vonage acknowledges that it has two overriding challenges. One is the quality of calls made over its network. Customers often complain of having their calls dropped, or of hearing lags. Mr. Holder says that this happens because the high-speed Internet access in subscribers’ homes can be spotty, and that when the lines falter, so does the call quality.

A related problem, Mr. Holder said, is insufficient customer service. The company is scrambling to hire and train qualified people to answer customer concerns. Vonage has 70 customer service employees and would like to have 110, he said.

Another major challenge is regulatory. So far, Vonage has been able to keep its costs low because it has been able to avoid the regulations that federal and state governments place on traditional telephone companies. But that may change: The FCC said last Thursday that it intends to study the question of regulating Internet calling over the next year.

Mr. Citron said he hoped regulators would make the rules clear. He also would make the rules clear. He also said he did not intend to get into any gray areas, as he did in his first incarnation as a disruptive entrepreneur. But, in one way, he would like to see a similar outcome.

Internet calling, he said, “will be a large and transforming event.”

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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 for details.

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