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Old 06-09-2009, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,380,342 times
Reputation: 3349

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There is no cell reception at our property and the nearest landline wire is over a mile away (needless to say, we will not be asking for it to be extended! $$$$).

Anyway, I'm perfectly happy to get a calling card and use the pay phone in the nearest village for the few calls I might want to make. Problem is almost every business/banking/personal account requires that you have a contact phone number!! This is terribly annoying! (it's bad enough that I don't have a "real" address)

We don't want to keep paying every month for cell service when we can't really use it. But, it would be nice to have some phone number that family etc could call and leave us a message to check next time we're in town.

Just wondering what others living out in the boonies/bush do in this circumstance? Is there a cheap service that will give you a personal phone number and 1-800 voice mail access (or ability to check your VM online maybe)? Or do you get a "pay as you go" cell phone and check your VM when you're in cell range (or 1-800 or online)?

Any tips and info would be greatly appreciated! We just can't afford to be spending a lot of money every month, so inexpensive alternatives are most welcome
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,337,542 times
Reputation: 13702
Vonage.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,380,342 times
Reputation: 3349
Thanks Warpt -- would that work even if we don't have satellite internet access yet? We'll be using the village's internet connection to get email, but probably won't have our own access for awhile. Just wondering if $25 a month for phone service you can't use is worth it just to have voice mail and a phone number.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:59 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,458 posts, read 21,499,103 times
Reputation: 8417
I don't actually have a phone, so I always put down someone else's number (I ask them first obviously...).
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,337,542 times
Reputation: 13702
Skype would work on any connection, I think.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,380,342 times
Reputation: 3349
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
I don't actually have a phone, so I always put down someone else's number (I ask them first obviously...).
We'll likely do that with someone in the village for emergency calls (like someone in the family dead or dying) so they can come out and get me if it's important; but I wouldn't want them to have to be bothered by random calls for me and taking messages, etc.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
374 posts, read 980,602 times
Reputation: 389
We have a prepaid cell phone. You just buy it and pay for a few minutes. You get a phone number and people can leave messages that you can check whenever you are in range. It works pretty well. Ours is a TRAC phone.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,921 posts, read 11,714,489 times
Reputation: 5605
Seconds on the Trac phone.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,380,342 times
Reputation: 3349
Cool - I'll check out the TRAC phone, see if their coverage and deals are better than Congular "Go" phones. You guys rock
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:29 PM
 
86 posts, read 297,043 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Thanks Warpt -- would that work even if we don't have satellite internet access yet? We'll be using the village's internet connection to get email, but probably won't have our own access for awhile. Just wondering if $25 a month for phone service you can't use is worth it just to have voice mail and a phone number.
Even if you do have satellite internet, Vonage or even other VoIP services won't properly work. Satellite is too unstable to use with any VoIP provider. Packet loss will cause choppy audio the whole time but you can try and see if you can live with the quality.

If you want just a cheap number with voice mail capability then I suggest you look into Onesuite VoIP service @ $2.95/month. At the moment they don't have a number in Alaska but you can get a number from the other states like CA, NY, FL, etc. That's pretty much cheaper than paying $25 a month.
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