TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Columnist Dumps SBC For VOIP

Columnist Dumps SBC For VOIP

Mike Wendland (
Wed, 20 Jul 2005 11:51:18 -0500

Mike Wendland, in his column for the Detroit Free Press, discusses how
he switched from traditional landline telephone service to Voice over
Internet Protocol (VoIP), and how he is overall satisfied with the
system, but keeps his cell phone around in case power goes out.

I pulled the plug on my SBC landline and -- gulp -- now rely totally
on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for my home telephone service.

Aside from the geeky and cumbersome VoIP moniker, I've seen very
little difference between using the Internet to call and the way it's
always been with SBC, or Ameritech or Michigan Bell.

I started experimenting with VoIP a couple of months ago when I signed
up for SunRocket, a Virginia-based VoIP provider that offers a pay-a-year-in-advance rate of

For that I get unlimited local and long-distance calls within the
United States and Canada, caller ID, two free wireless phones and a
host of cool new features.

The verdict is out on how it affects the rest of my Internet
operations, but overall, I see no serious issues.

Besides unlimited local calls and long distance, SunRocket has a great
Web interface that e-mails me my voicemail when I'm on the road.

There's also a "follow me" feature that rings my cell phone if the
main phone isn't answered after a few rings.

My experience has been that reaching SunRocket's technical support is
extremely difficult.

With enhanced 911 service, the emergency operator automatically
receives the name, address and origination phone number of the caller,
so time isn't lost in an emergency giving a location.

Does the VoIP phone work with a fax machine or burglar alarm?

As far as fax services go, SunRocket says it supports it, but you need
a machine that uses what is known as the T.38 standard for real-time
fax over Internet Protocol networks.

Precisely because of the fact that VoIP is dependent on AC power and
Internet service, I would recommend that most people call SBC and keep
the cheapest service they can on a landline.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Some of us dumped SBC a couple years
ago to get better and less expensive service from Vonage. And I agree
with Wendland on keeping a cellular phone for emergencies as needed.

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