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oldguy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Voip service learning curve Reply with quote Back to top

Is there any reference for finding out what the shortcomings of Voip service in general are?

What I mean is: the lack of directory listings, no free phone books, etc.

One I just found: Columbus, Ohio has a 311 telephone number which you can call to get info on city services (I can also dial 645-3111). I found that this number will not work with Vonage nor any Voip service. Only works with SBC/AT&T.

Boy, am I glad the FCC makes the local POTS carriers make 911 available to all.
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
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Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As far as these limitations, these are limitations specific to Vonage. Other Voip provdiers do have directory listings, even can provide phone books, x11 services, etc. Some Voip providers don't even have 911. It all depends on what your provider decides to provide to their customers.

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oldguy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonageTPA wrote:
As far as these limitations, these are limitations specific to Vonage. Other Voip provdiers do have directory listings, even can provide phone books, x11 services, etc. Some Voip providers don't even have 911. It all depends on what your provider decides to provide to their customers.


Thanks for the reply.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Shortcomings" are also in the eye of the beholder.

For example, I don't get a phone book. Big whup. I have been using www.anywho.com for many years, so I'd just as soon NOT get the dead tree edition that I never use.

I don't get listed in the phone book. Yay! That means I don't get looked up by telemarketers (Number of months on Vonage: 12. Number of telemarketer calls in that time: ZERO!!! NONE!! NADA!! ZIP!!).

The specific local numbers are a pain, but not a huge one. There's usually a local equivalent to most toll-free or state-specific numbers, though that's not true in all cases (like Maine 500 numbers, for example, which frequently do not have a local equivalent you can look up easily).

Other potential shortcomings of Voip off the opt of my head (as a result of the technical limitations of the service):

1. Well, obviously, you have to have Internet connection. So you are dependent not only on your Voip provider, but your ISP, and your electric provider unless you have a good backup power supply. This should be a pretty obvious one. Voice quality also depends on the quality of your Internet connection, and is outside the control of your Voip provider. Your ISP may even offer competing telephone service, and would therefore not have any reason to help you resolve connectivity problems with your Voip provider (they may even "accidentally" cause them so they can sell you THEIR service).

2. DTMF tones. Voip does not carry them in the same way that a POTS line does. Sometimes, when the person on the other side of the line makes just the right sound while talking, Voip will "see" that as a DTMF tone and you'll hear a "beep" like they pressed a button on their phone.

Advantages:

- Portability. Voip only requires an Internet connection. It doesn't require a phone switching station nearby with two strands of copper going from there to your phone. Moving? Take it with you!
+ no $50 disconnect fees,
+ no $75 connection fees,
+ no $200 in escrow if you refuse to give them your Social Security number and bank account information,
+ no change in your phone number when you move.

- Features. By nature, Voip providers tend to offer more features in their base offering than regular telcos. Telcos generally charge for things like Caller ID, voice mail, etc, and rarely offer really advanced features like web access to voice mail.

- Price. Self-explanatory. Wink

_________________
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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VonageTPA
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Posts: 1715
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

NateHoy wrote:
"Shortcomings" are also in the eye of the beholder.

For example, I don't get a phone book. Big whup. I have been using www.anywho.com for many years, so I'd just as soon NOT get the dead tree edition that I never use.

I don't get listed in the phone book. Yay! That means I don't get looked up by telemarketers (Number of months on Vonage: 12. Number of telemarketer calls in that time: ZERO!!! NONE!! NADA!! ZIP!!).


I'd definitely agree with (most) of this. I'd also like to add that Vonage DOESN'T charge to keep your number unpublished, unlike the traditional telcos. An unpublished listing from Verizon runs an extra $4/mo (that's an extra $48/year!) As far as phone books go, I can just go to the local telco office and they'll usually hand them out free.

For those who DO want to list their phone number, Jeff Pulver (of Free World Dialup fame) has a free service over at http://www.listyourself.net which allows you to get a directory listing, regardless of your VoIP/cellular provider. I've not tried it myself, as I prefer to keep a VERY low profile.

Quote:
The specific local numbers are a pain, but not a huge one.

I'd still like to see Vonage fix this, especially considering that other Voip providers get it right. Then again, we've been waiting for ACR for how long?

Quote:
- Portability. Voip only requires an Internet connection. It doesn't require a phone switching station nearby with two strands of copper going from there to your phone. Moving? Take it with you!


This one really ticked me off this week. I'm moving down the street and Verizon won't let me keep my #. I found this statement by the Verizon rep that it "can't possibly be done" asinine considering I've had no trouble doing similar things with Sprint and SBC. Both the old place and the new place are in the same rate center, same zip code, but different swtiching stations, so I'll be forced to give up my number because some policy maker at Verizon doesn't realize the current electronic phone switches can handle foreign exchanges. Of course, the rep is telling me all of this while I'm on the phone with them on a Voip line, in a different city than the area code/exchange are located, and happened to be ported from a cell phone. Likewise, my "new" number won't be active for about 3-4 days, so I'll be totally without landline phone service for half a week, probably twice that for my DSL to switch over. In the meantime, I'll be using cellular broadband and my Voip lines. With this sort of attitude from the landline telcos, I don't think they'll be in business in another 10 years unless they change their strategy.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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bg4
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Joined: Aug 04, 2005
Posts: 164
Location: Long Island NY

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The OP ref to 311 got me thinking (at 6AM before work) that I thought Vonage supported 311. So I looked it up and 311 for Columbus OH is in the coming soon list.

More plusses -

no charge for extras like call waiting-three way calling-call forwarding.

The $14.99 -500 minute plan that includes everything the premium plan does and is not just a basic plan like your POTS carrier must offer per FCC docket.

_________________
Bob-Long Island NY
Vonage Customer since August 8, 2005
ISP: Optimum Online
Router Motorola VT2442
Setup: SB4200>VT2442>Linksys WRT54G v2.2 (running WRT) wifi enabled-port 1 to switch>two PC's-
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oldguy
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Joined: Jul 20, 2006
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

bg4 wrote:
The OP ref to 311 got me thinking (at 6AM before work) that I thought Vonage supported 311. So I looked it up and 311 for Columbus OH is in the coming soon list.

More plusses -

no charge for extras like call waiting-three way calling-call forwarding.

The $14.99 -500 minute plan that includes everything the premium plan does and is not just a basic plan like your POTS carrier must offer per FCC docket.

Where did you find what's planned for Vonage?
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alih1l
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Joined: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

We have a service like that, 311 for non emergency stuff and I think its 211 for community services and such.

All I had to do to call them was disable my international block, because it thought I was trying to dial an international number...
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oldguy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

alih1l wrote:
We have a service like that, 311 for non emergency stuff and I think its 211 for community services and such.

All I had to do to call them was disable my international block, because it thought I was trying to dial an international number...

According to the people at the city services that handle the 311 service, AT&T/SBC will not allow any Voip service connect with 311. Don't have to; it's non-emergency.
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Maestro
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Joined: Jun 15, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

oldguy wrote:
According to the people at the city services that handle the 311 service, AT&T/SBC will not allow any Voip service connect with 311. Don't have to; it's non-emergency.

I live in an AT&T area, and the 311 has worked since Vonage introduced it. Apparently, AT&T is not blocking it.
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