I've read some of the articles here about VoIP (Internet telephony)
and I'm very intested in signing up. I pay almost $50 for my local
phone line with Bell (with voice mail and caller ID) and I'd like to
not have to. Vonage, Primus and the others shows rates of $20 + tax
for a service that seems to provide much more than Bell.
I know the issues with VoIP (no 911 service, dependent on power), but
I'd still like to try it. The ability to check you voice mail from the
Web is neat.
I also read the article about Sympatico offering naked DLS at the end
of March 2005. This means you will be able to get a DSL service
without also having a regular phone line.
Does anyone have any news about this? There was talk that Bell might
only offer naked DSL to users who bought the (not yet released?) Bell
Also, Vonage told me that I can't keep my local Bell number. Anyone
know if the new Bell VoIP service will let me keep my local Bell
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A couple things you have described as
'issues' are actually non-issues if you handle them correctly. For
example, take 911. Vonage at least, maybe other VOIP carriers as well,
take pains to advise you when signing up to _make absolutely certain
to activatw your 911 service -- as a separate thing, not done
automatically -- before you start using it._ When I signed up with
Vonage a couple years ago, I also completed the PSAP form telling them
where I could be physically located. I submited the form in email, got
back an auto-ack from Vonage saying they would register it. Two or
three days later I got two pieces of mail: one was email from Vonage
saying I had been registered with the Montgomery County, Kansas
Sheriff. The other piece of mail came like regular mail, from the City
of Independence Police Department saying I had also been registered.
At the time, Vonage had no POPs in the Kansas area, so I signed up
(for Vonage) with an area 415 number. Then when Vonage expanded their
service to Kansas area 316 and 620 numbers, I took a _local_ 620
number and dumped entirely the 415 number, and I also took a virtual
area 773 number for my friends in the Chicago area who wanted to reach
me easily. The Vonage PSAP department paperwork went through on that
okay, but that same day or the next I got a phone call from the
Sheriff's office who called me on my local landline 620-331-xxxx
number sort of confused. "Did you move over to Winfield?" asked the
lady. The new order from Vonage for a local number in 620 was actually
a Winfield, Kansas number. No hassle, Winfield is a few miles west of
here and the best that Vonage had at the moment. I explained to her
that I was at the same old place, my mother's old house on East Poplar
Street by Second Street. That seemed to satisfy her also. "Yeah, we
know who you are and where to find you," she said. We did a test where
I called her back on 911 using Vonage. She said the screen display
'looked different' but was 'understandable'. Granted, I live in a very
small town, population 8800, one phone exchange for the entire town,
the police dispatcher responds for the sheriff also, and the city
offices and they receive 'two or three 911 calls per day'. So your
milage may vary, but it does seem to work. And in our tiny little
town, the police dispatchers know *everything* and *everybody*. They
seem to know every address in town.
You also raised an 'issue' with power. If you use a battery backup
unit you get around any problems with power. I have heard people ask,
but what about the DSL/cable line; their power could go out also. Yes,
but there is a chance power could be out at the phone exchange also. I
guess nothing is perfect.
You also said 'Vonage told you they could not port your number' but
that is only true if they do not have immediate local service in your
telephone exchange. If they have a POP in your town or in your central
office then they can and will be glad to port your number.
Regards naked DSL, for most parts of the Bell System it is unlikely as
they do business now. SBC, for example has stated they would not do it
and they don't do it except where courts have ordered them to do
so. You would be better off looking at high speed cable internet or
satellite internet if it is possible in your community, as it is here.