Subject: Re: VOIP at home?
To: Lindgren, Jon <>
From: Thor Lancelot Simon <>
List: regional-nyc
Date: 10/14/2003 10:50:30
On Tue, Oct 14, 2003 at 10:39:20AM -0400, Lindgren, Jon wrote:
> I've gotten to the point of getting sick and tired of my regular phones, and
> figured I'd take a look a VOIP in my apartment.  Has anyone here done VOIP
> in their home?

I have, through Vonage.  It's working fine now but there were some Issues:

1) Didn't work during the blackout.  In my case, this was because the
   cable-TV network was out, but evidently even if you had DSL (and that
   DSL had adequate battery backup at the headend) it didn't work due to
   poor emergency planning at Vonage itself.

2) The 911 service is essentially useless.  Tell everyone in your house
   to use their cellphones for 911, *never* the Vonage phone.  Vonage
   sends 911 calls to the main switchboard operator at the building that
   houses the interagency emergency response coordination center for
   NYC, evidently because that number was easy to get out of the phone
   book and you can't do *real* 911 without submitting a whole detailed
   Plan and actually spending some money... this may work fine in Montana
   where the folks answering the 911 phones are at the next desk, but in
   NYC it does not work well *at all*.  I argued with the operator who
   answered about whether I'd dialed 911 or not for *3 minutes* once while
   a woman was mugged outside my apartment.

3) They had a major service problem that made my phone useless for about
   two weeks, and were not really responsive through any customer service
   interface.  Finally I called their main office and started churning my
   way up through their administrative hierarchy until I reached someone
   who was troubled enough by my story to instruct one of their senior
   techs to work with me continuously until *I* said the problem was
   fixed.  That took about a day and half, but my service has been
   rock-solid ever since... (it's been about two months now with zero


 Thor Lancelot Simon	                            
   But as he knew no bad language, he had called him all the names of common
 objects that he could think of, and had screamed: "You lamp!  You towel!  You
 plate!" and so on.              --Sigmund Freud