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Old 05-10-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 16,353,153 times
Reputation: 3707

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I have Virgin Mobile and am very pleased with it -- no outages or dropped calls in the six years I've used their service. I get 700 minutes for $24.99 per month, no contracts, and great phones cheap. Perfect for me.

(Oh, and I certainly don't need or look to a new president to "fix" phone service. You think your guru is the Wizard of Oz, don't you?!)
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 25,145,538 times
Reputation: 11329
I'm having great luck with Skype.

Free registration & It's free if you're calling other Skype members.
You get disconnected after 1/2 hour, but just call back!
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Cicero, NY
625 posts, read 1,645,312 times
Reputation: 221
I have had packet8 for about 3 years now and its great. No problems or outages at all.
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:56 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,631,221 times
Reputation: 1892
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Independent VOIP providers are dying off as the cable and telcos get into the business themselves. You can get the same thing Vonage offers from cable and att for less.
vonage is 25$ unlimited and 10$ for a fax line.

around here, verizon and timewarnercable are at least 30 for unlimited.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
1,368 posts, read 6,015,183 times
Reputation: 536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
I've had no issues whatsoever with my VoIP, which is provided by my internet provider (though I think they contract it out to a third-party vendor). Maybe it helps that I'm on DSL and not a shared cable loop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Actually DSL is a shared loop just like cable. At the cabinet (RT) or the C.O. there is equipment called a DSLAM which operates at 3 to 12 million bits (usually 6) which provides the DSL connection. Everybody in the neighbour hood that feeds out of that DSLAM shares that connection and the more people on it, the more the performance degrades just like on cable. While, unlike cable, you do have a dedicated path to the DSLAM, once there you share the bandwidth along with everybody else.
Kev, while this is true... the bandwidth at that level is substantially more than the shared bandwidth generally found within a cable network.

Not only that, you aren't 'guaranteed' your cable speeds, but with DSL you have a dedicated link of your speed. This is one of the reasons DSL speeds are still lower than cable.


As another poster mentioned, often times VoIP service is resold by another carrier. This is also true of DSL services in general. (I know my ISP resells for Qwest, and other smaller ISPs)

In actuality... there is probably no provider that will use entirely their equipment, lines and bandwidth to sell you any service, as there are many 'behind the scenes' providers that are 'upstream carriers' from your ISP.

So, the things to watch for with VoIP service are numerous, but look for:
1) Sustainability. Is the provider going to go under after 6 months or are they a regional or national player?
2) QoS (Quality of Service) VoIP service is the one area in which I enjoy and expect QoS protocols in place. what QoS does is prioritizes VoIP packets over data packets, to ensure that your calls get through, and that quality is clear and the connection remains stable. Be wary of ANY provider that states they don't need QoS on their links. Because trust me, they do.
3) Customer Service: When things break, are they good at letting you know what happened, why it happened and how long its going to take to fix? Sounds like the folks teatime was dealing with had an unexpected major outage, and they did their best to notify customers. This is good, but leads me to my next point:
4) Network infrastructure: This is harder to really inquire about and determine, but ask if your provider has a backup. My ISP has a secondary VoIP plant (so if our first VoIP server fails, it fails over to our secondary to ensure service isn't lost). We also have alternate routes all across our network, so that if one town's core is lost, only that town is down and not our entire infrastructure.


VoIP service is far from perfect, and most smaller ISPs (especially those servicing rural areas) face larger problems than the larger ones do. At the same time, I like calling in for service and reaching a person without having to go through menus.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 90,178,102 times
Reputation: 29485
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radek View Post
Kev, while this is true... the bandwidth at that level is substantially more than the shared bandwidth generally found within a cable network.

Not only that, you aren't 'guaranteed' your cable speeds, but with DSL you have a dedicated link of your speed. This is one of the reasons DSL speeds are still lower than cable.
I don't know about that.... I can get up to 15mbps downstream speed if I want to pay for it. I haven't seen cable offer anything that fast yet.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
1,368 posts, read 6,015,183 times
Reputation: 536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
I don't know about that.... I can get up to 15mbps downstream speed if I want to pay for it. I haven't seen cable offer anything that fast yet.
My cable is at 15mbps down/1.5mbps up.

That is the only time I have heard of a DSL link at 15mbps. You sure you're not on fiber or a P2P wi-fi set up?

And whats the cost of the 15mbps downstream?

I think the max I've seen before your post was like... 4mbps up/down on a sDSL line
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Cicero, NY
625 posts, read 1,645,312 times
Reputation: 221
The theoretical limit of DSL is 8.448 megabits per second
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 90,178,102 times
Reputation: 29485
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrice View Post
The theoretical limit of DSL is 8.448 megabits per second
Well I beg to differ because my ISP offers it at up to 15mbps.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
1,368 posts, read 6,015,183 times
Reputation: 536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Well I beg to differ because my ISP offers it at up to 15mbps.
you sure its not 1.5mbps? Or do you have a link to check?

I dont distrust you, its just that my experience is telling me otherwise.
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