Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

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  #16  
Old 01-27-2008, 09:30 AM
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captain1202 captain1202 is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Comcast cable & inetrnet with Vonage.

We currently have 3 Vonage lines working flawlessly. Also, we were able to keep our old phone numbers and had new virtual FL numbers assigned so a s not to confuse the locals.

Vonage: $14.95/no for up to 500 minutes or $24.95 for unlimited minutes. NO charge for U.S. long distance, small charge for overseas.

You can also install Skype phone on your computer for PC to PC calls at no charge.

No problems with Comcast service.

TIP: When installer comes to hookup yor cable they will ask how many sets you want. Lets say you have 5 outlets in the house, there is an "installation" (pronounced "RIPOFF" charge) to hook up each outlet. It cost me an additional $95 on the install.

At the time I asked the installer why I was being charged to use MY wiring. She just said it was "company policy". Well even though my policy is not to pay someone else for using my own things I agreed, not knowing the setup (I thought the connections might be from a central terminal box).

I later found out that the cable comes to MY box on MY house and that if the installer had not connected the additional 4 rooms all I would need to do is re-connect MY wires to MY terminal block. It's your choice but knowing what I do now I would NOT have asked them for more rooms than the basic one (no charge for the first one). I am now in discussions with Comcast to see if they will refund the install charge.

It's also worth noting that the "Comcast" we have here is NOT the same national Comcast from the northeast and other areas. It is a local outfit that CC bought and is running under the CC flag but apparently they don't communicate, (e.g. transferring account information).

Re: Comcast Digital phone: I believe Comcast did a rollout of digital phone service before VOIP had really taken hold. Because of VOIP's many pluses, they have withdrawn Digital Phone in many markets in favor of VOIP. They are currently working on VOIP in New England with New Hampshire being a test market.


  #17  
Old 01-27-2008, 01:45 PM
richman richman is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

So Captain, does that mean using VOIP that if the internet goes down, my phone is out as well?
  #18  
Old 01-27-2008, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

We also have Vonage. We pay $15 per month for 500 minutes of outgoing calls. Never use all of these minutes. Yes, if electricity is out, so is phone service. BUT, I feel what with cell phones, that isn't a big deal. One nice thing about Vonage is when we are traveling we get an email when someone leaves a message on our phone. I just go to Vonage and listen to it.
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2008, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Captain
One clarification on Skype. Although Skype to Skype is free, now any non-S-S calls (to businesses, incoming non-Skype etc) have a charge. It used to work great for Skype to Skype international calls to friends.
Also with the new digital house phones you only need one connection in your house (unless you want multiple phone numbers). The connection to your phone s/b where you want your base phone with the recorder. The new phones use wireless extensions back to the base phone. You can have an extension wherever theres an AC outlet at anytime you want.
Panasonic works fantastic. Some of the others have serious interference, clarity or distance issues. You can get a 3-4 phone combo at Sam's for $80. Not worth running the additional wiring and you have the connivance of relocating extension (yes event to the patio or bathroom) any time you want.
Also works great as intercom, speaker phones and transfers all your phone numbers to every extension.
  #20  
Old 01-28-2008, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Re: Power Outages

Yes, there is the possibility of an outage but you can keep both your internet and phone running with a battery back-up pack. fortunately, the comcasts, etc. have good power backup. As is said in the last post, you always have cel as a backup.
  #21  
Old 01-28-2008, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

To comment a little more on the question that was aksed earlier - if you're using Vonage (or any other VoIP service) and Comcast (or whoever your ISP is) cable service goes down, yes - you also lose your telephone service for the duration of the outage.

My experience is that ISP outages seem to occur much more often than landline or cellular telephone service outages, which is why I would not rely only VoIP telephone schemes.

(From a former telecommunications systems senior technical support engineer)
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  #22  
Old 01-28-2008, 11:20 PM
bamafan bamafan is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

jime, I would assume that from your comment that you have Embarq at your home. Are you satisfied? I talked to one of the Embarq installers and he told me that south of 466 (we are in Duval) all of the lines were all copper and performing with few problems. I thought that copper lines were old technology. What happened to fiber optic? I realize that you cannot run everything in fiber optic. I was thinking of going with comcast for internet with the voip phone, but have reservations. My tv service will be with Directv. My next door neighbor has Embarq phone and internet. I used their DSL internet and it seemed as fast as my ATT DSL internet here in Birmingham. Thanks for the help
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2008, 01:55 AM
jime jime is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Bama -

I do indeed have Embarq for landline telephone service; I have had no problems with it either north of 466 where I first lived (Polo Ridge) or south of 466 where I now live (Belvedere).

Copper lines are still good current technology; it is the condition of the copper lines combined with what electronics they are connected to enroute back to the central office that mainly determines the quality of service that you will have. As the wiring and equipment installed in The Villages is new, I wouldn't expect problems. Fiber to the Curb is the newest technology, but is not often installed as yet (to my knowledge) due to cost.

I know several people that use VoIP via their ISP and are relatively happy with the service; however, as I mentioned earlier, landline or cellular service is more reliable which is why I chose not to use Vonage or any other ISP based service. As for the DSL service, I know of no reason why one service provider (ATT or Embarq) woud be any better; they are all using similar equipment back at the central office. There are different levels (speeds) of DSL service that you can obtain, with faster speeds being more expensive. I don't know that any of the DSL offerings are as fast as a Comcast cable modem, but the difference may not be important to you.

I am considering dropping Embarq landline service and using my cell phone at home; this would be just a cost saving change, not because of any problems I have encountered with Embarq.
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  #24  
Old 01-29-2008, 04:31 AM
bamafan bamafan is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

jime, thanks for the info it helps. We too have considered just using our cell phones. It would save some $$
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  #25  
Old 01-29-2008, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Embarq could not figure out that I moved within TV. I changed my address twice and twice after getting a bill it reverted back to the old address. DUH, I did not get my bill and when I tried to use the phone was sent over to a representative to pay my bill. This happened twice so I dropped Embarq and started using my cell. Before dropping Embarq I had my phone number transferred to the cell. Only problem I have found is I can't use my fax machine.
  #26  
Old 01-29-2008, 02:03 PM
bamafan bamafan is offline
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Plan2 I would assume that internet is with Comcast? If so are you happy with them. I just do not like cable companies. They are always raising your bill.
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  #27  
Old 01-29-2008, 09:50 PM
bamafan bamafan is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Barb, I assume that you would plug your voip box into the wall outlet. This would send signal to the outside box thereby energizing the rest of the outlets. You would want to disconnect the landline coming into the house to prevent signal from going outside your home and to wherever. I have a question. Does Vonage or voip have a dial tone like a conventional phone? What is Magic Jack? Is that another service like Vonage? Thanks
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  #28  
Old 01-29-2008, 11:42 PM
MikeH MikeH is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Recommend Cable (Comcast) for TV and Internet. I use VOIP through an independent company---Packet8 (www.Packet8.net).
Been with them several years and am pleased with service.
  #29  
Old 01-30-2008, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan2bforever
Embarq could not figure out that I moved within TV. ...
And Embarq can't figure out that if they want their bill paid in a timely fashion they need to send it to the billing address and not the service address. I started the service in August and have yet to get a bill. Funny how 2 disconnect notices have reached me though. In their defense, they have canceled all fines and late charges, but really! Is that any way to run a business?
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  #30  
Old 01-30-2008, 02:17 AM
bamafan bamafan is offline
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Default Re: Recommendations for Phone Service, Cable & Internet Access

Magic Jack certainly looks interesting. Whats to loose. The price is right $19.95 year.
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