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Bruafekkay Posted:
agreed drab
individual, large
if the hamlet is
not provided with
the requisite
...

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Vonage V-Phone & SoftPhone
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mauersteine 50x50 unsparing
On Dec 07, 2016 at 20:07:45

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
...

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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
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Vonage
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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:
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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:
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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:
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Topic:
W52p Setup
On Aug 30, 2016 at 10:38:01


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Bells, Rivals Face Deadline


Vonage In Print News

Bells, Rivals Face Deadline
They Have Limited Time To Set Wholesale Rates


April 19, 2004

By Vikas Bajaj

What they couldn't agree on in eight years, telephone companies are now trying to settle in 45 days.

The former telephone monopolies and their rivals have an opening to negotiate wholesale rates, which could resolve an issue that's bitterly divided them since the federal deregulation act was adopted in 1996.

June 15 marks the end of a 45-business-day stay of a U.S. Appeals Court decision invalidating previous wholesale rates.

Earlier attempts to negotiate wholesale rates have failed and ended up before state regulators. But negotiators could succeed, some officials said, thanks to a prolonged downturn in the telecom sector, competition from the Internet and see-sawing court rulings that have added uncertainty.

"There has got to be a point where everybody gets worn down," said Bill Daley, president of SBC Communications Inc., based in San Antonio.

If the telephone companies fail to reach accords, experts say, they risk prolonging expensive legal battles while wireless, cable and Internet businesses claw away at their customers and revenue.

Resolution won't be easy. The warring factions remain sharply divided. The talks could be derailed by a dispute over whether deals must be approved by regulators and publicly disclosed.

One Deal

Since the Federal Communications Commission called on the industry to negotiate last month, only one deal has been announced. SBC and Allen-based Sage Telecom Inc. struck a seven-year agreement on April 3. Talks are under way at many other companies, but executives declined to discuss them, citing nondisclosure agreements.

Congress and the FCC created wholesale rules in the mid-1990s to make way for competition in local-phone service. In exchange for allowing the Baby Bells to sell long-distance, policy-makers required them to lease their local networks at wholesale rates to rivals.

But agreeing on rates that both sides consider fair has been vexing to say the least. Wholesale rates vary widely by state. While the national average hovers just under $17 a month per line, the fee is as high as $28.44 in Montana and as low as $11.99 in Illinois. In Texas, the average fee is $20.21.

The Baby Bells say the rates by and large don't allow them to break even. SBC and Verizon Communications Inc., for example, point out that they've invested billions in their networks. The court decision against the current rates was prompted by a Baby Bell legal challenge.

Bell rivals say an agreement is hard to reach because they are negotiating with companies that still wield monopoly power.

Two years ago, SBC proposed a $26 monthly rate for all 13 states in its territory. Rivals such as AT&T Corp. scoffed, saying those rates wouldn't allow them to make money. In Texas, AT&T has argued that the wholesale fee should be less than $10.

SBC and Sage say their deal has an average rate of less than $25. Another competitor, Z-Tel Communications Inc., has suggested a flat national rate of $20.

Both sides acknowledge the gulf but hold out hope that they can compromise.

"We are willing to step up to the table and in some instances take a rate increase, because it will help us significantly reduce the uncertainty that we are facing as an industry," said Don Davis, senior vice president of corporate development at Z-Tel.

Disclosure

The first of these negotiated deals faces a critical test.
SBC and Sage assert that their agreement is private and shouldn't be shared in full with regulators and competitors.

"I am sure when EDS signs a deal with American Airlines, it doesn't discuss the detailed terms of their agreement," said Dennis Houlihan, Sage's chief executive.
Mr. Daley said that the companies would probably file some documents with states but that the calls for disclosure smack of a double standard.

"On the one hand, these people encourage us to do commercial deals like every industry does, but then there is this implication we have the final say over what is a good commercial deal," he said.

Regulators say disclosure and approval are required under the 1996 act.

"What Congress wanted was to make sure there weren't sweetheart deals," said Brad Ramsay, general counsel for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, which represents state regulators in Washington.

"It's very easy for a large company to ... choose somebody who is not hurting it too badly and say, 'I will give you this wonderful deal, and you agree to not compete with me here and here.' "

AT&T's director of federal government affairs, Joan Marsh, said the company will push for any deals with the Bells to be filed publicly.

Prospects

Experts say there's reason to be optimistic about prospects for compromise.

A prolonged fight would be painful, and that could happen if the Appeals Court decision were sent to the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, if the FCC doesn't appeal, phone companies and regulators would have to figure out how to treat the 19 million phone lines already leased from the Baby Bells at wholesale rates.

"There is enough of the threat of uncertainty, the threat of customer anger to be some additional pressure" on the phone companies, said Paul Hudson, chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission.

The Bells and their rivals must also consider their weakened position within the larger telecommunications industry. From June 2000 to June 2003, the number of traditional phone lines fell 11 million, or 6 percent, to 182 million.

By comparison, about 159 million Americans had subscribed to cellular service by December, up from 109 million in 2000. Experts say there could soon be more cellular users than landlines.

Wireless' ascendance has sapped long-distance and local revenue as Americans make more calls on cellphones to take advantage of unlimited night and weekend calling. Many young people are forgoing a land line altogether.

Two other technological threats are taking hold. Cable companies such as Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications Inc. have signed up thousands of customers for basic phone service. And Internet-based operators such as Vonage Holding Corp. are providing telephone service over broadband connections.

These rivals are more dangerous for the Bells than AT&T and Z-Tel, said Robert C. Atkinson, research director at Columbia University's Institute for Tele-Information.
Customers who leave for wireless, cable or Internet don't pay SBC or Verizon anything, he said. But when AT&T and MCI take customers, they pay the Bells, albeit at a lower wholesale rate.

On the other side of the table, AT&T and MCI must compromise, too, because they don't have wireless or cable networks and only broadband homes can use Internet-based telephony.

"Both sides have strengths and weaknesses," Mr. Atkinson said. "That makes it an ideal time to negotiate."



 
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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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