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The 'Vonage box'
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:35 am    Post subject: How ISPs Will Impede 3rd Party VoIP Reply with quote Back to top

Slashdot is discussing a March 3 column by famous (infamous) columnist Robert X. Cringely discussing how ISPs will hurt Voip providers by giving preferential treatment to their own Voip packets at the expense of other traffic.

Hopefully in the end you will be able to pay your ISP a little extra to treat Vonage packets nicely rather than have to subscribe to their Voip service. And yes, I do believe it would be legitimate for ISPs to sell this as a value added service. You could run Vonage without it, but with it you would have better results with it and some guarantees (and measurements) of quality from your ISP.

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Larc
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've heard that too, but the FCC has a way of stopping such blatant preferential activity as that. My bet is they would step in, assuming the new director is as Internet savvy as Powell.
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shahtech
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti,

I believe Cablevision is already giving priority to is own Optimim voice service over other Voip services.
Here is something from another forums.
***************************************************
Optimum Voice packets get priority over normal Optimum Online packets within Cablevision's network.

Optimum Voice calls do not traverse the Internet (outside of Cablevision's network).

Optimum Voice has cable technicians available to come to your house if you have a problem with the service or would like them to perform an installation. OV is responsible for the service INCLUSIVE of the cable modem hookup.

************************************************************
You can read the rest at :
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,12884261
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

shahtech wrote:

Optimum Voice packets get priority over normal Optimum Online packets within Cablevision's network.


This is the crux of Cringely's column. However, in order for this even to make a difference cablevision's network has to be at capacity (or artificially capped). In the long run ISP competition may make it unprofitable for ISPs to either allow this situation or artificially create it for fear of losing their core market.

In addition I believe that the FCC might mandate that the ISPs make the priority system available, for a fee, to third parties.

Voip experts have always seen this prioritized system as an eventually required component of Voip services to measure and guarantee quality.

shahtech wrote:
Optimum Voice calls do not traverse the Internet (outside of Cablevision's network).


This is a fundamental difference in cable company "Digital Voice" and standard Voip. The side effects of this are no travelling with adapters, no soft phones and no virtual numbers outside your cable company's area of service.

shahtech wrote:
Optimum Voice has cable technicians available to come to your house if you have a problem with the service or would like them to perform an installation. OV is responsible for the service INCLUSIVE of the cable modem hookup.


I don't know about Cablevision, but Comcast prices their product like POTS so they can afford to have technicians come out to your house. I still believe that Vonage will develop a network of independent install technicians at some point, just like DirecTV, to expand their market into less computer literate households. The likelihood of this increases if Vonage can start selling more products into single households. Currently the profit margins from service don't appear to be sufficient to support an additional Vonage paid install fee.

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ToddlerTN
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti wrote:
shahtech wrote:

Optimum Voice packets get priority over normal Optimum Online packets within Cablevision's network.


In addition I believe that the FCC might mandate that the ISPs make the priority system available, for a fee, to third parties.

Voip experts have always seen this prioritized system as an eventually required component of Voip services to measure and guarantee quality.

But a crucial point is that Cablevision isn't doing anything to artificially limit the capability of a third-party's Voip traffic. Cablevision's Optimum Online data is given priority over ALL Optimum Online data. Which means that would only come into play if Cablevision's network was at max capacity, at which point the Optimum Online data would buffer temporarily in favor of Optimum Voice data. So Cablevision is throttling their entire cable modem service, not just competitors' Voip data, and doing so for reasons that make sense.
scerruti wrote:
shahtech wrote:
Optimum Voice calls do not traverse the Internet (outside of Cablevision's network).


This is a fundamental difference in cable company "Digital Voice" and standard Voip. The side effects of this are no travelling with adapters, no soft phones and no virtual numbers outside your cable company's area of service.

From my perspective, there are more advantgages than disadvantages to that approach. Other "side effects" are also that your Voip has a dedicated data channel and dedicated bandwidth that doesn't impact or "steal" available bandwidth from your Internet connection. So no need for elaborate QoS, no need for jacking with your network topology, and no finger-pointing between your ISP and your Voip provider if you experience less-than-perfect performance. Plus of course, e911 and caller ID and everything else you expect from telephone service.

Also, I don't know why you say no softphones or virtual numbers outside your cable company's area of service. As for softphone, I know part of Comcast's long-term strategy involves SIP support so any hardware or software that supports it can connect to your ATA. And the area code thing...can you explain what would prevent Comcast or anyone else from providing those area codes? Skype can do it, Vonage can do it...obviously a physical presence in each area code isn't a requirement, so why do you say it's not possible for a cable company?

Anyway, I'm not one of those guys who only cares about the $24.95. I'm glad to pay a little more for those extras, and I'm looking forward to Comcast's service becoming available here.

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scerruti
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ToddlerTN wrote:

Also, I don't know why you say no softphones or virtual numbers outside your cable company's area of service. As for softphone, I know part of Comcast's long-term strategy involves SIP support so any hardware or software that supports it can connect to your ATA. And the area code thing...can you explain what would prevent Comcast or anyone else from providing those area codes? Skype can do it, Vonage can do it...obviously a physical presence in each area code isn't a requirement, so why do you say it's not possible for a cable company?


I am saying cable companies can't offer the service guarantees which makes the service different from Vonage. No SoftPhones on the road because you won't be on their network. It may be technically possible to have a SoftPhone in your house, but they are going to have to extend the tagging to your cable modem and possibly your internal routers in order to guarantee QOS, so it is not practical, at least not for now.

Currently you can't access the cable "Digital Voice" ATAs from your home network, they are completely isolated. So you couldn't route SoftPhone calls without going over a shared Internet connection.

They can only offer virtual numbers in areas where they can reach the CO with their network. Otherwise they would have to send your calls across the Internet. As I understand it a physical presence is required at the CO. Vonage achieves this presence through deals with third parties then sends the calls over the Internet. That is why only certain area codes are available. I can't find a reference for this, it is my understanding only, perhaps someone else can describe how it works authoritatively.

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mbhn5204
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Let them bring it on! It sounds like a dream come true business opportunity to me.

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ToddlerTN
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti wrote:
ToddlerTN wrote:

Also, I don't know why you say no softphones or virtual numbers outside your cable company's area of service. As for softphone, I know part of Comcast's long-term strategy involves SIP support so any hardware or software that supports it can connect to your ATA. And the area code thing...can you explain what would prevent Comcast or anyone else from providing those area codes? Skype can do it, Vonage can do it...obviously a physical presence in each area code isn't a requirement, so why do you say it's not possible for a cable company?


I am saying cable companies can't offer the service guarantees which makes the service different from Vonage. No SoftPhones on the road because you won't be on their network. It may be technically possible to have a SoftPhone in your house, but they are going to have to extend the tagging to your cable modem and possibly your internal routers in order to guarantee QOS, so it is not practical, at least not for now.

Yeah there are issues to be worked out obviously, which is why it's not a service at rollout. But Comcast has said that's definitely in their future plans. I don't think they are interested in portability as much as they are committed to SIP devices interfacing directly with the ATA, at least that's what most of their comments have focused on. But obviously that allows for some inherent portability features that aren't that hard to imagine.

I don't think we can really call Vonage's technical implementation and feature set the "high water mark" of Voip, something that can't be equalled or surpassed by newer or more efficient technology. The future of Voip isn't necessarily an RT31P2 connected directly to my cable modem.
scerruti wrote:
They can only offer virtual numbers in areas where they can reach the CO with their network. Otherwise they would have to send your calls across the Internet. As I understand it a physical presence is required at the CO. Vonage achieves this presence through deals with third parties then sends the calls over the Internet. That is why only certain area codes are available. I can't find a reference for this, it is my understanding only, perhaps someone else can describe how it works authoritatively.

Well the coming FCC regulations concerning Voip may do away with the need for third-party deals altogether, since area codes are becoming geographicalyl irrelevant already. But certainly Comcast can do it just the same as Vonage or Skype if the demand is there. Skype charges what, $3 for that? And if Skype can do it, obviously the nation's largest provider of cable and broadband data services can do it, too.

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scerruti
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti wrote:
I still believe that Vonage will develop a network of independent install technicians at some point, just like DirecTV, to expand their market into less computer literate households.


I called this one right:
Vonage Professional Installation Program

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