TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Thinking About VOIP

Re: Thinking About VOIP

John Levine (
22 May 2005 22:12:17 -0000

> I'm thinking about subscribing to one of the many VOIP services
> (Vonage, Callvantage, etc.) and have a few questions.

> Are any of these good enough to replace a POTS line? I'll be using it
> over Verizon's new Fios service.

I don't think so, but it depends what you expect from a POTS line.
None are as reliable as POTS, both because they depend on your ISP,
and router all working, and because they all have the occasional
flakeout. (Phone companies have spent the past 130 years learning how
to make phones reliable, so it's not surprising that it's taking a
while for VoIP to catch up.) Other than Packet8, none of them offer
real 911, so you'd best have a cell phone for emergencies that you
keep charged and working.

> Lingo seems to offer the most for the least amount of money. Are they
> worth considering?

I dumped Vonage in favor of Lingo earlier this year when the call
quality became unusable and their customer service turned out to
consist of a 24/7 busy signal. Lingo's been OK, call quality and
reliability are decent, support is OK. My only complaint so far is
that through some screwup, a call to Argentina that I know was about
one minute was billed as 3 1/2 hours. They reduced it somewhat, but
not as much as I'd like. But since the rate was only 4 cpm, the
actual amount at issue was on the order of two bucks.

I have a web page at that has an overview
of VoIP and some links if you're interested. It's not a formal
comparison; the only ones I've tried are Vonage, Lingo, and Net2phone.



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