Voip Guide

Setting up VOIP alternatives to your landline

Dez Futak sent this to the mailing list:

Telewest argued with me over the phone along the lines of this recent CLAN topic/discussion when I told them I wanted to get rid of my landline, which I will do by the end of October. They were desperate not to lose my £10/month-for-nothing.

I could’ve got disconnected sooner, but am allowing a little breathing space to let folks know my new number (obtained free from Sipgate) & also to allow me time to learn how to troubleshoot any problems I might have with the Asterisk box, voip phone, etc.

I’ve been fiddling with the Asterisk box a lot recently, and have annoyingly managed to get things so that when someone rings me, I can hear my phone ringing, but they don’t hear the ring ring in their earpiece…but I think for a fairly network savvy person, this issue would’ve probably have been solved fairly easily.

I signed up for the voipbuster account & have configured the Asterisk box so that this is the default outgoing trunk that I now use, as calls are free across Europe & USA/Canada/Australia.

Voipbuster has been occasionally uncontactable, so I have voipfone & sipgate as backup outgoing dial routes.

My wife knows she should normally dial 9, and if that gives an error, try again with 8, or failing that, 7.

There are a few QoS/ToS issues to sort out as Telewest only do 128 kb/s upload on their two cheapest broadband services, and this is noticeable if my kids are on the cbeebies site, where there are a lot of Flash-based games that they can play.

Anyway, as of November, I’ll be saving dosh (initially paying back the money spent on a SIP phone & ata adapter) on line rental & already saving dosh on no-cost calls.

Once Telewest do their uprade of bandwidth at the end of September, I’ll maybe shift down to the cheapest tariff if it bottoms out at 1mb/sec, as this is enough most of the time (as the upload speed is more of the potential bottleneck anyway).

I expect if Telewest get wind that a significant number of customers begin to do this, they might fiddle around with their pricing structure for phone calls/line rental, etc. eventually.

Here’s a bet to finish with: that within 2-4 years, line rental will completely disappear, and the cost differential between VoIP & traditional telcos will become invisible. It won’t disappear, but will just be too complicated to work out.

Still, I like the fact that I can choose my ‘telephone provider’ at the moment….long may that continue.

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