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telecom choices

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Oct. 13th, 2002 | 11:52 am

So there's the company vonage.com that is selling a residential phone service over broadband connection. It comes in two flavors $20/mo for 500 minutes of calls or a $40/mo for unlimited nationwide calling. (just to advertise a bit more, calls between vonage accounts are free, since I think the connection is between the two phones and doesn't pass through their network).

I'm tempted to switch my home phone to this service. If there are no taxes it'd be pretty indistingushable from my current phone service price. However I think there are going to be some extra fleecing fees, so it'll be more expensive.

Some of the advantages of this phone service.ul>
  • It's not Pacific Bell, I've been unhappy with them since they tried to steal $700 from me. (Yes I had to file a fraud report against pacbell for misbilling me). Not to mention they're a large corporation and deserves some compitition just because.
  • It uses internet standards so I could, in principal, turn my laptop into a phone wherever I happened to have broadband access. Since most of my friends have broadband connections and I'm getting better and linking into their nets I could have service similar to a cell phone.
  • It encourages the installation of SIP compatible phones. If everyone I knew had SIP phones then I wouldn't actually need to pay for phone service.
  • If community wireless networks become sufficiently ubiqutious, then I wouldn't need to buy cell phone service from these big mega corporations either
  • </ul>

    Of course this meanse change as I have to fiddle with optimizing my cell phone plan, and convincing my friends to call a different phone number. However vonage has a nice call forwarding package so I could program it to automatically roll over to a cellphone if I didn't currently have access to my "home" phone.

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