Thursday, December 30, 2004

VoIP Is Ready For Prime TIme

Naked DSL and Cable Modem Service Boon to VoIP

If you have not yet tried VoIP service for your residence or business, try it now. Many of the leading VoIP service providers offer unlimited service for $24.99 (USD) per month. The quality of service is now in the outstanding range. The new Linksys (CISCO) QoS features make a dramatic difference (once you get past the abysmal technical support offered for firmware upgrades) in the quality of the VoIP call. You will find you can have several PCs surfing the Net while maintaining excellent voice quality on at least 2 simultaneous calls.

Of course this all depends upon the quality of the IP network implemented by your broadband service provider. In most cases, the RBOCs have the best IP infrastructure (albeit sandwiched within ATM and SONET transport). DSL service providers tend to provide better service to those choosing VoIP alternative carriers. This is rather ironic given that these carriers have the most to lose in this VoIP revolution. Cable modem service providers continue to have difficulties with their networks during the peak hours of 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm. These networks are being upgraded and will soon make the leap past the bandwidth offered by the DSL carriers. Of course, this will soon be followed by RBOCs finally abandoning their ATM infrastructure in favor of pure IP networks comprised of Gigabit Ethernet rings providing 10Mbps and better service using ADSL2+ or better last mile services.

You can obtain your telephone service adapter at numerous locations including WalMart and Sam’s Club. These outlets offer specials, rebates and discounts as well. You may also sign up for service on-line from such carriers as Vonage, AT&T, VoiceWing and BroadVOX. The offerings are now in the “very strong” category. I strongly suggest you at least try the service. I will also recommend CISCO routers for business usage and the Linksys WRT54G (not the GS) for wireless home service. The WRT54G has the best new firmware features for VoIP QoS.

You cannot surpass the value for these services. Due to recent FCC rulings, you will not pay the extra Federal, State and local taxes that bloat your local telephone service fees. Vonage now offers basic 9-1-1 service that actually works. Just remember to purchase a small battery back-up unit for your router and telephone adapter. This should get you through at least 4 hours of local power outage and give you the same emergency service you now enjoy from your local carrier.
You can get one number service, call forwarding, voice mail, on-line call detail records, 800 number services and what amounts to the most customer friendly service you have ever experienced. Try the service. I will blow you away.