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pasadenaqt
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Champion Broadband network down again since 5:30 AM..

Their call center informs me that the entire Southern California went down today at 5:30 AM
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sorry the website that tests your connection is http://www.testyourvoip.com/
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: Blocking Reply with quote Back to top

Did You guys see this!

FCC Bans Blocking

August 8, 2005

While much of the reaction to Friday’s U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruling has been focused on ISPs, a policy statement issued as part of the commission’s deregulation of DSL services could add much-needed legal protection for Voip carriers such as Vonage and Skype.

The FCC issued a statement that it does not want the newly freed DSL providers and cable operators to use their total control of their networks to interfere with the access rights of direct competitors such as Voip providers.

A policy statement does not have the legal teeth of a rule, but it does put telecommunications carriers and cable operators on notice that there are still aspects of broadband services delivery in which the FCC reserves the right to meddle.

“We need a watchful eye to ensure that network providers do not become Internet gatekeepers, with the ability to dictate who can use the Internet and for what purpose,” said Michael J. Copps, one of two democrats on the FCC panel. “Consumers do not want to be told that they cannot use their DSL line for Voip, for streaming video, to access a particular news web site, or to play on a particular company’s game machine.”

Commissioner Copps also said he would have preferred a rule rather than a policy statement, which even the chairman said was unenforceable.

“With violations of our policy, I will take the next step and push for commission action,” he said. “A line has been drawn in the sand. I am particularly appreciative of the chairman’s support of this item.”

Vonage Reaction

Chris Murray, Vonage’s vice president of government affairs, said his company was pleased with the policy statement but, like Commissioner Copps, wished the FCC had gone further. According to Mr. Murray, the business of Internet neutrality will become an even bigger issue when video transport, with its multiplicity of still-emerging standards, becomes more prevalent.

“The overall calculus is that [the statement] was worthwhile,” said Mr. Murray. “Even if it’s not an enforceable rule, it sets the commission’s rudder in a specific direction. There will be some dust that has to settle, and I believe there will be a test case down the road—hopefully a good one.”

Vonage has had some problems with carriers. Subscribers in Mexico have complained that Telmex, the dominant Mexican carrier, has unfairly blocked their service.

Last March, the FCC entered a consent decree with Madison River Communications, a carrier based in Mebane, North Carolina, to end an investigation into complaints that the company blocked ports used for Voip applications. The FCC also fined Madison River.

“The blocking problems can be overt or subtle, but the marketplace wants predictability,” said Mr. Murray. “VCs want to know that the product or service they are investing in can get to the marketplace without blocking.”


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I saw the FCC statement, and added it to the thread late Sunday. I wasn't up that early this morning, would have loved to call Champion again.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:03 pm    Post subject: My own two-cents on the blocking issue... Reply with quote Back to top

Following is what I just posted to my blog. I hope it illustrates my experience with Vonage, Clearwire and the whole port-blocking issue. Needless to say I'm getting a bit burned out on the whole experience.

-----

A few days ago I documented my trouble with Clearwire (ISP) and Vonage (VoIP Phone). Clearwire, apparently in an attempt to drive away their already nominal customer base, has blocked the ports necessary to use Vonage, the Voip dial-tone provider. My further research indicated that Clearwire may be in a deal to offer their own Voip product.

While this better explains why Clearwire has elected to block Vonage ports, it doesn’t explain why companies such as Clearwire choose to lie to their customers and bring them to a state of such anger that they drop the service. How is this in their best interest?

On the other side of the coin, Vonage was absolutely no help. My initial email to their support center resulted in a response asking me to call them for further assistance. That would have been quite a feat considering my dial tone was not working, which is why I contacted them in the first place. I responded to them saying that they really needed to better understand what service they provided in order to understand my reason for e-mailing, not calling them. My response generated a second message from Vonage support saying that I “really” need to call them to get the issue resolved. My second response was not as kind or tactful as my first.

Today, out of desperate need for dial-tone at home, I took my Vonage terminal adapter (the little black Motorola box that provides my Voip service) to work. I figured I would call them from work with the terminal adapter in front of me, and that way they could walk me through whatever configuration changes I needed to make in order to get it working on Clearwire at home.

Let me preface this next commentary by saying I have no beef with the people of India. I find them to be highly intelligent, engaging people on a personal level. However, just because a company can save money by outsourcing their technical call centers to India doesn’t mean they should. The woman who handled my call had a reasonable grasp of the English language, but very little in the way of comprehension skills. No matter how many times I explained to her that I was not at home, she could not grasp the concept. Surely if I had the terminal adapter in front of me, plugged into my Internet connection, I had to be at home.

After nearly twenty minutes of this round-robin discussion, I asked her to put me in touch with a higher-level tech…someone who could assist me in configuring the adapter for my specific ISP (that was my subtle way of asking to speak to someone who spoke my language). She obliged (purely out of her own frustration, I’m sure) and patched me through to a pure-blooded American tech-support person.

This individual was able to grasp my issue, and gave me instructions on how to configure the adapter once I got home. Normally I don’t second guess someone’s knowledge of their own product, but this guy’s instructions were suspect. In my entire database of IT and networking knowledge, I couldn’t imagine that spoofing a mac address would somehow automagically change the port of an internal service.

My suspicions were confirmed and at present I am still without phone service. At this point I am through with Clearwire, and also seriously reconsidering Vonage, which is unfortunate. When I’ve run it on any other high-speed connection, it worked flawlessly. It certainly isn’t their fault that Clearwire is (illegally?) blocking ports, but the way they have handled my situation doesn’t give me much confidence in their ability to handle future problems which they may, in fact, own.

In my opinion, Vonage has washed their hands of the port blocking issue and has left their customers holding the handset. They certainly don’t act like they want to take the lead in getting this issue resolved, and as a customer for over a two years, they stand to lose me. Regardless of the value inherent in their system, it loses all value when it doesn’t work…regardless of the reason. Just as an example….if oil companies suddlenly stopped making unleaded gas, it wouldn’t be the automotive industry’s fault…but I still wouldn’t buy a new car knowing I couldn’t use it, no matter how great it might be.[I]
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I don't believe Vonage washed their hands of this, the battle is still on. With the FCC policy that has been adopted, the ISP's with think twice about blocking ports. At this point I suggest you write the FCC and complain.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: My own two-cents on the blocking issue... Reply with quote Back to top

dknighton wrote:
Following is what I just posted to my blog. I hope it illustrates my experience with Vonage, Clearwire and the whole port-blocking issue.


What is your blog URL? I would love to include it in our Friday round up of Voip blog postings in the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Blog URL Reply with quote Back to top

The direct link to that post is:

http://www.baileybug.com/blog/?p=144
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