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sparkymark
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

So looking at that, if Vonage would implement a secured VPN connection per box, they would be able to bypass all that, rigth? Probably would have to replace the box too cuz doubt that the box is cuztomizable enough to add IPsec or some other vpn.

I fought a little with a tech person here that said BTL would still be able to block that, but how could they? A VPN is completely secured, and the only way they can see what's going through it is cracking it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that should work.

BTL could block VPN, but that's a completely different story again. then they would really have the business people upset.

I love what you're doing KnckrBckr. I've taken advanced networking courses, but not sure if I'd be able to do all that..

a big that you, and I think more people should devote some time to this - hacking a way through this.

Regards.
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shabba
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Belize (BTL) Blocking Vonage & Others? Reply with quote Back to top

While not wishing to urinate on anyones strawberries I think the BTL DSL agreement, Terms and conditions of use need a mention.

If I could draw attention firstly to Para 3 - sub para c where you the customer agree NOT to use the service for voice transmission.

Then, in para 6.1 sub paras k & m defines two way voice/video transmissions and ANY unauthorized relay via a third party system as being offences punishable by immediate termination of service.

So while there is no doubt in my mind that there are and always will be ways around any impediment that BTL wishes to place in the path of Voip, always keep in the back of your mind that the way the world works is divide and conquer. If an individuals transmissions are secured to the extent that it cannot be determined what they are doing that will raise a flag and that individual will be turned OFF.
Thus divide and conquer, as an individual you are a wrong doer as a group we are strong and have a voice.

Therefore I would urge that we all concentrate our efforts on keeping the momentum going so that the PUC forum does not occur in a vaccuum, with poor attendance but that all interested parties ensure their attendance/participation in the April 26th forum.

Sermon ends Smile
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sparkymark
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I agree that everyone possible should show up for that PUC meeting, and I for one will make sure I'll be there.

But I got my DSL over 2 years ago, and at that time I did not sign any contract that had any mention of a not using Voip or anything.. They basically had no contract. Not even that I could not resell it to someone else.

I believe that a lot of people got DSL at that time and therefore are not under such a contract. Or can they change the contract at anytime without your signature on it?
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

sparkymark wrote:
I fought a little with a tech person here that said BTL would still be able to block that, but how could they? A VPN is completely secured, and the only way they can see what's going through it is cracking it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that should work.


Well, in your scenario, one of two things would have to happen to use VPN for Vonage:

1. Vonage establishes the other side of the VPN:

First, Vonage is not going to do this for legal reasons. The only reason you'd need a VPN to do this is to bypass restrictions placed by your Internet provider. Given the complex mishmash of laws, blocks, etc, Vonage doesn't even "officially" do business in countries that have Voip blocks, and won't support blocked service, so they certainly aren't likely to be complicit in helping you bypass the laws and/or terms of service of your provider. Changing those laws or TOS is your job. Breaking them is your decision, if you choose to.

Second, this would increase their bandwidth needs considerably, meaning poorer quality calls in the same bandwidth or increasing their bandwidth requirements for a single line. Not to mention the extra money they'd have to pay for their side of the bandwidth.

Third, this means all-new equipment, both on their end and on the consumer's end, and a much more complex connection. Holy Customer Service Calls, Batman!

Fourth, the extra delays introduced by the encryption/decryption of the packets is going to add delays to the calls, reducing the quality.

And finally, this is easily blocked by your local ISP. Simply look up the Vonage VPN server endpoints, and block connection to them, by using a circular or dead route to the IP address or blocking DNS lookup. Any decent admin could kill this off in about 10 seconds.

Maybe they could offer a "premium" encrypted service, but of course eventually the call will go out on POTS, which is just as easy, or even easier, to tap than Voip. So the encryption would only be good for Vonage-to-Vonage calls. Some people might pay extra for it, but not many.



2. You establish a VPN and connect to Vonage through it.

This is something you could do today. Simply find some way to buy some US-based bandwidth (a dedicated server account in the US, or some other VoIP-friendly nation, for example), install a VPN server and a proxy server on it, and you can use SOCKS or other secure protocols to create a secure tunnel to your proxy server in the US, which then hops out to Vonage and connects from there (see disclaimer below).

Sure, it'll cost you, but pool together with a few neighbors and share the Proxy server and the cost of same, and it becomes affordable (see disclaimer below)

DISCLAMER: Just be sure to check with local laws and TOC's to make sure that your provider does not ban voice or streaming application,or the use of VPN's to bypass any blocks they may have established (which they undoubtedly do, so I am including as a way to say if you break your local laws, I accept no responsibility and will not join you in the local lockup) and go for it!

Of course, if they find out, they can easily block either your specific VPN server, VPN from your account, or all VPN connections in general. So be sure you don't sign up for a really long term on that US-based server account, OK? They can also come for a persona visit with a couple of well-armed people carrying either a termination of service notice, a large bill with plenty of penalties, or an offer that cannot be refused for a free night (or year) of luxury accommodations in a grey cell in an undisclosed location. (see disclaimer above)

Your best bet is to get involved in changing your laws. Vonage, being in the US, can't do that for you. I can't do it for you. Only you, and any of your neighbors willing to take action, can do it.

Either that, or pay your local telco.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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shabba
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

sparkymark wrote:
Or can they change the contract at anytime without your signature on it?


According to the TOS your signature on the original application is sufficient. Now the legality of that is another topic, and probably better discussed by wiser heads.

A good place for info is pulver.com Jeff Pulver is/was a founding member or Vonage and has worked tirelessly to advocate fairness throughout the internet, with a specific focus on Voip. There is an interesting transcript of his testimony to the FCC at a public forum in the US at http://www.pulver.com
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peterbj7
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: BTL DSL service Reply with quote Back to top

A BTL engineer has just confirmed to me that BTL ARE blocking Voip. He wouldn't be drawn on whether that was right or legal, just that it was happening.

The particular reason I had for enquiring was that I have also lost access to one or two specific web pages which I know are otherwise working properly - only people in Belize have problems with them - and the administrators of those sites have told me that routing traffic through a proxy server (as BTL are likely doing) will cause those services not to work.

BTL are "working on" this problem.
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StewB99
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:53 pm    Post subject: VoIP blockage in Belize Reply with quote Back to top

After enjoying high-quality Vonage calls on our meager (128Kbps) cable line here on Ambergris Caye last Christmas, I was saddened to find no dial tone on our current visit.

Our condo neighbor had mentioned that his newly purchased Vonage unit was not working (even though it did back in the States) and he assumed that he was setting it up wrong. A quick Google search revealed that BTL was indeed blocking (more specifically "jamming") Voip service.

I asked at the local internet cafe (south of town) if they were still offering cheap phone calls and she said "yes". When I said "what about the BTL blocking?" she said their satellite connection worked "but these 3 phones on our DSL line no longer work". (This answers a previous poster's question...)

There is a good site that a good 'netizen' put up with useful info and contacts to send e-mail or letters to:

http://bfic.wordpress.com/

The April 26th PUC hearing is a key date where we may finally see some action - but voices must be heard. It's worth noting that this is hurting a lot of local Belizeans who rely on reasonably priced telecommunications to set up travel here. It's also worth noting that BTL is already collecting fees for their fairly funky internet "service". So it's not like we are getting Voip for free...

StewB99, frequent visitor and condo owner in San Pedro
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StewB99
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:14 pm    Post subject: Update on Vonage - how to make it work Reply with quote Back to top

Some simple experimenting got our Vonage device to work here on Ambergris Caye. I plugged the phone into "Line 2" on our Vonage device. That brought up a message saying that Line 2 was not active (true, I only have one line). When I plugged the phone back into Line 1, I got dial tone. I was able to make calls and the quality was good.

DIal tone goes away though after hanging up. But all I need to do is plug into Line 2, then Line 1, then it "wakes up" and it's been consistenly working - so far... I will try some biz calls in the morning.

Hope this helps others wrestling with the Voip jamming...

StewB99
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vidmaster
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Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Brick, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The SIP message from Vonage proxies will show as "486 Busy Here" and not "486 Busy" as shown in the SIP packets you provided. Also, you should always get a 407 Proxy Auth msg when you initiate an outgoing call. If the busy message was received before the 407, the Vonage outbound proxy never even got a chance to reply to you before the busy signal was received. This in turn has your device send out the 487 Request terminated causing the proxy to disconnect the call being placed.
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peterbj7
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Vonage still works intermittently - it's working at present - but the web pages I referred to above still don't work on BTL DSL. They do work consistently on a satellite internet connection. I know from BTL and from the website provider that there are several other businesses in my field having the same problem in Belize, and apparently no-one in any other country world-wide has reported the problem. So it's definitely something BTL are doing. Are they just incompetent in not solving it, or malevolent?
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