Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

Voice over IP ready for widespread geek usage!

Via The Syracuse Broadband Internet Coalition, VOIP may be ready for the geekier among us (and our significant other won’t kill us for cutting the local telco’s cord!

“We’ve been experimenting with some VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol ) solutions at the SBIC HQ. The most promising, and by far most user-friendly is a solution by Vonage.

Vonage provides its customer’s with a Motorola box that plugs into your broadband internet connection and into our home’s telephone wiring. Once that’s done pick up any phone in your house, dial the eleven digit phone number (yes, even calling next-door requires “1-area code-number” dialing), and you’re hooked up.

So far, after an initial installation and configuration hiccup, everything is working beautifully! We can now call anywhere in Utah as if it were a local call, and with the plan we selected have 500 minutes of North America (including Canada) long-distance, plus all the bells-and-whistles you can think of (including a voicemail to email feature that we love!).

You must hve a broadband connection with at least a 128kbps up-speed connection and relatively low latency (Sprint Broadand and satalite customers need not apply) to qualify. If you want to drop Qwest entirely, DSL probably won’t work either (since you still need a land-line phone connection). Cable internet, DSL, or a WISP would be your best bets for service.

It should be noted that Vonage is NOT a telephone company, it’s an information service as defined by the FCC, which means you won’t have local taxes or fees on your line.

Our plan is $27/month, there is another plan that’s a little more expensive, and one that’s a little less. Check out for details.”

Wow! Comcast is offering something similar through their Cable Internet connections, and AT&T is in beta-testing of a VOIP to POTS solution, but both have pricing schemes basically like the good-ol’ monopolies that they are. Vonage on the other-hand has pricin scheme that looks like it will keep them in business, but save you and I money in the short-term as well as the long-term! Give them a try.


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