Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Experience with Vonage (and Comcast)

I saw this article recently on Slashdot. A similar thing happened to my wife, too. We are Vonage and Comast customers. Comcast called our house trying to get us to switch to Comcast VOIP. She made the same retort mentioned in the /. article, saying Vonage is cheaper. They tried to throw the same FUD at her. It didn't work.

We've been very happy with Vonage. Our call quality is excellent. It helps to have a high bandwidth connection (4 megabit.) We have our VOIP box configured to get max quality, even if that means slower connection speed on the computers in our home network. It's never been an issue. Voice quality is always good, and our internet connection is always fast.

VOIP is sometimes looked as a disruptive technology, but it doesn't even qualify I think. Usually disruptive techs are not as good as the techs they are disrupting. They're "almost" as good, and a lot cheaper. In a lot of ways, VOIP is better. It's nice being able to get email notifications that you got voicemail, and then be able to listen to the voicemail online. It's nice being able to re-direct calls automatically to a cell phone when we are away from home (particularly on vacation.)

We switched to Vonage a couple of years ago, when we lived in Concord. We moved to San Jose at the beginning of last year, but because of VOIP, we were able to keep the same number (a 925 area code, even though 408 is the area code in San Jose.)

There are a few things I'd like to see from Vonage. I would like them to setup service in Bakersfield and Panama City, FL -- where our families are. Then we could have virutal numbers in each of those cities, allowing our families to make local calls to us. Again this is something that convential telephone services can't provide. The only thing stopping it from happening is that Vonage doesn't have service in those two cities. I'd also like call blocking on blocked caller IDs, but that's a minor thing.

Oh the big thing that Comcast tried to claim over Vonage was all about 911 service. As long as you make sure that your home address is accurate in Vonage, then you can dial 911 and the police/fire/ambulance/whatever will show up at your door.

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