Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: VOIP Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    293
    Feedback Score
    0

    New York VOIP Questions

    I am finally being kicked off my POTS line by Verizon kicking and screaming. I still want a landline, plus need faxing.

    I am trying to keep the cost down as much as possible, while having E-911, minutes (paid or not), and, hopefully, faxing capability. I’ll be porting my old number over. Google Voice would be free, if I could somehow port my landline number over. But no E-911 or faxing, I'm sure.

    What companies do people recommend?

    I was looking at the callcentric review. Obihai looks good, but wouldn’t include E-911, except with another service. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Southwest Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,599
    Device(s)
    Moto E (T-Mo); LG Fiesta 2 (PPC)
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile Prepaid & Page Plus
    Feedback Score
    0
    Just a suggestion: Assuming this is for home/home office, what company are you continuing with for internet service? Is it Verizon (or have they sold to Frontier in your area?) or some other outfit? Depending on who's providing service, if you end up getting a "triple-play" type of deal which includes phone service, that could be an option. This would typically be a situation where that type of package is simply the cheapest way to get your internet (maybe TV too), and you can't avoid having the phone service included (you don't have to use it).

    Not being familiar with Verizon and its recent history (I'm in Comcast territory), if one goes with Comcast in my area and accepts use of their modem/router (with its additional monthly cost), it has a phone line jack built in to it.

    But more likely you're ditching all of that and just keeping the internet service, right? Adding 3rd party service as needed.

    I use Comcast internet with an Obi 200 device and my Google Voice account. No faxing desired here. Anveo on my second Obi channel for 911 with an annual fee.

    Pretty sure the 911 limitation is due to Google Voice's stance, not the ObiHai device's. Call Centric may be able to do that with one service channel, and maybe charge you for it (most likely). There are at least a couple of members here very up on Call Centric's offerings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,584
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Pearl View Post
    I am finally being kicked off my POTS line by Verizon kicking and screaming. I still want a landline, plus need faxing.

    I am trying to keep the cost down as much as possible, while having E-911, minutes (paid or not), and, hopefully, faxing capability. I’ll be porting my old number over. Google Voice would be free, if I could somehow port my landline number over. But no E-911 or faxing, I'm sure.

    What companies do people recommend?

    I was looking at the callcentric review. Obihai looks good, but wouldn’t include E-911, except with another service. Thank you!
    I have been using an Obi 200* with Google Voice, my cable Internet, and Callcentric for 911 for years. It works pretty good for my personal use, including a few faxes a year on the GV service. There are generally a few times a year, like 3 or 4, that there are problems with voice calls - echo, noise, call drop. I have no idea if the problem is with my cable Internet, the Obi, or GV. IIRC, there have been problems with GV for hours long calls.

    Faxing: It works for me through GV. I have no idea what speed it goes. It seems slow to me, but I have my fax set to send fine resolution.

    911: GV does not handle 911 at all. The Obi has four what they call Service Providers. GV will use one. You can add Callcentric with 911 for $2-$2.50 a month. When you set up Callcentric 911 you enter your address. When 911 is called, the Obi routes it to Callcentric. The Callcentric 911 service then calls your PSAP and "speaks" the address to them and connects your voice call.

    Note that the Callcentric "Dollar Unlimited" is for incoming calls only. You must receive at least one completed incoming call of at least a minute a month or the number will be terminated. I learned this the hard way. Adding 911 for $1.50 a month to the "Dollar Unlimited" allows you to make outgoing 911 calls. "Pay per Call" with a $5 deposit and $1.50 a month for 911 might be a better choice. There are other 911 services that will work with the Obi.

    Ooma is a device similar to the Obi with their service and monthly cost. It probably works about the same.

    Your ISP may have voice service. That is also a VOIP service and conceptually works the same way as the Obi. Is Verizon offering you FIOS?

    I have a Straight Talk Home Phone device with unlimited calling for $15 a month. It uses Verizon cellular VOLTE. It would not send a fax when I tried it. 911 is by GPS from the device. Who knows how the various PSAPs handle that.

    *Obihai was bought by Polycom a year or so ago. The device is now sold as Polycom Obi 200. The 200 model is one line. 202 has two phone lines.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    293
    Feedback Score
    0
    Thank you, whacker and bobdevnul. I shortened my original post and left off other relevant information.

    I switched to Spectrum for internet and phone on 11/3, but so far the internet has been a bit spotty, so may go with FIOS for internet. So far, VZ has been refusing to port my phone #, saying if I don't go with Fios, they would suspend my line and get rid of my phone #! I have a complaint out with the FCC about it; the FCC contacted VZ right away. But VZ is still holding the # hostage.

    If I go with VZ they want to charge $30/month just for VOIP phone---ridiculous! Plus, all of their massive “taxes and fees,” which are 5 times our high state and city taxes. In that case, I’ll go with another company for phone. Maybe the same even with Spectrum, which charges $10/month for VOIP phone, which is much better, but still could be less. Plus, VZ raises the price of everything a lot after one year.

    Frankly, internet and phone should be a public utility, but anyway . . . That's why VZ has been so eager to throw everyone off the copper wires; they were a regulated public utility.

    I would go with the triple-play, as I'd like tv, too, but VZ charges $80, plus $20-25/month in extra charges, before you even get to all of their "taxes and fees." Not to mention they raise everything a lot after a year, while I'd be locked into a 2 year contract. I'll go with sling for tv, which doesn't have all of the extra charges. Of course, it's only so many channels, but it's a lot less expensive.

    Wow, bobdevnul, GV works with faxes!! Who knew? That's great news!

    Thank you for the various fixes for the 911 issue.

    Question: can I port my landline # over to GV, so people can call me on that # with GV? I know I can port it, but not sure if people can then call me on it through GV.

    Today, the internet on Spectrum is better, but it has been good when it's good, and inoperable on and off, so it remains to be seen if it's sufficient. If VZ Fios prices were better, I would have gone with them. Although, VZ has been truly thuggish for years, trying all kinds of dirty tricks to force us off the copper wires and onto Fios.

    To be continued . . . I was so eager for Fios until it was available here and I saw all of their charges and fees. Not to mention how dirty they have been playing with us. Sigh. Thank you, again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    17
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    I have a Straight Talk Home Phone device with unlimited calling for $15 a month. It uses Verizon cellular VOLTE. It would not send a fax when I tried it.
    Same here. I have the Straight Talk Home Phone as well. Just switched to the ZTE voLTE unit which works great! Much better than the old Huawei CDMA units. But no faxing at all. I dug out my fax machine and tried several times. No luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    293
    Feedback Score
    0
    Thank you, MarkNC.

    I have switched to Spectrum for internet, and, hopefully, phone. Except that Verizon (landline) is refusing to port my number over!! (See my other post). They are trying to force me onto Fios, upon penalty of them getting rid of my phone number! I complained to the FCC, and they are still balking.

    Once I've gotten the number over to Spectrum (I hope!), I will probably get an Obihai and do the porting to GV (through porting to cell first). It's a bit of agita to do that, but would then be free. Except I'd get a E-911 service.

    I may be tired of all this and delay the last portion, however.

    Faxing does work through Spectrum, and also, usually, through GV---surprisingly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,584
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Pearl View Post
    ...Question: can I port my landline # over to GV, so people can call me on that # with GV? I know I can port it, but not sure if people can then call me on it through GV.
    There is conflicting info here on HoFo if a landline can be ported to GV. Some say you can. Some say ports to GV only work from mobile numbers. Maybe they accepted landline numbers in the past. Web searches I found outside of HoFo all say that ports to GV only work from mobile numbers. The GV web form to port a number says:

    "Please note: at this time, number porting to Google Voice is not available for land line numbers or corporate mobile numbers."

    https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/porting

    They don't say there, but VOIP numbers, like from a cable system, Vonage, Ooma, etc. don't work either.

    The way around that is to port the landline to a mobile service, then port the mobile number to GV. You just need the mobile service for a few days so something cheap would be appropriate. I don't know if the $3 T-Mobile deal is still available.

    Once you get your landline number ported to GV it is your GV number and works all the ways GV works. You can have it on an Obi and cellphones at the same time. I do this.

    To use an Obi you need reliable broadband Internet. It does not need to be spectacularly fast, but intermittent or packet loss won't work well.

    I am in the same situation with Verizon copper landline. They refuse to fix the copper and my only option is a FIOS install. I will get around to it some day. I doubt it will cost more than the $170 I pay for cable plus the $28 I pay for the copper landline.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    293
    Feedback Score
    0
    bobdevnut,

    Thank you for all of the information. That's what I thought, that after porting my number to Spectrum----if I can get VZ to do what it legally should!! I would then port it to a cheap cell, then to GV. I guess I'd need a cheap cell phone to port it to. I have a really old Blackberry, don't know if that would do.

    You said, "To use an Obi you need reliable broadband Internet. It does not need to be spectacularly fast, but intermittent or packet loss won't work well."

    Spectrum has fixed the issues, and now the internet is much better. Occasionally it lags for a second or two, but that's it. We'll see if it continues to be ok. When you say "intermittent or packet loss won't work well, I assume that you mean that the phone service on the Obihai will be down if the internet is down or lagging, right?
    Does lagging for a second or two sometimes constitute much of a problem?

    So far, in spite of having made a complaint to the FCC about VZ's refusal to port the number to Spectrum, they are still trying to force me onto Fios!! They have been threatening to get rid of my phone number. Now they say to port the number, I have to cancel the Fios order (that I only made when they turned off our 2 phone lines and internet to force us onto Fios), then they'd suspend our line. They said 24 hours later I could put in an order to port the number out, if the number hadn't been disconnected!! I already made a port request on November 2nd!!

    I don't believe that will work, as when they suspended our lines before, they couldn't even be turned back on without charging us.

    VZ told the FCC that it is resolved, and VZ is not responding to my VM's about the issue. So I had to respond back to the FCC that they are still threatening to get rid of my phone number. Unreal. I've heard that the FCC does not hold VZ's feet to the fire on this. A Spectrum migration guy said that VZ does this all the time: force people onto Fios even though they know the people will turn around and switch to Spectrum immediately after the installation. Yeesh, this is extortion!

    I would have gone with Fios for the probably somewhat better reliability, but the cost of the service is much higher, the price goes up after one year, even though the agreement is for two years, and the "taxes and fees" are 5 times higher than our already super high state and local taxes. There's also a $350 ETF fee.

    The speed I have with Spectrum is 200/200. It's actually usually around 230 down. Admittedly, the up is only about 11.6, but that's ok with me. To be continued . . . VZ is a bunch of thugs!! The 800 pound gorilla.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    17
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Pearl View Post
    Thank you, MarkNC.

    Faxing does work through Spectrum, and also, usually, through GV---surprisingly.
    You're exactly right! I used my own home fax machine on Time Warner Digital Phone (prior to Spectrum) when I worked as PIO for our local Sheriff's Office. I used it for late night alerts so I wouldn't have to drive to my departmental office to send faxes.

    It worked just fine on their VOIP service. When I left the county I packed my fax machine away. The only time I've dug it out (it has been years) was to test it on my Straight Talk ZTE home phone. No luck but it was a fun test. These days if I need to send a fax, which is rare, I use one of the free services like FaxZero or GotFreeFax.

    Good luck with the port. I've ported two numbers out of Google Voice but not to it. Surprisingly Google somehow ended up with some cool local numbers which I scooped up and ported them out for home phone through Straight Talk. The $3 port fee was worth it. And Straight Talk didn't charge anything for the port from Google but it took about a week. And I use a Google Voice number (I use the app) for business calls to my personal mobile.

    Just be aware that when I had Time Warner/Spectrum and had to change my home phone number, they charged me a $40 service fee. That was about a year before I removed the cable TV and home phone from my bundle package. That was three years ago. Make sure you ask because they sure didn't tell me and almost collapsed when I opened the bill! If you can find a work-around, definitely do it!

    Keep us posted!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    2,285
    Device(s)
    Pixel2 XL iPhone SE
    Carrier(s)
    VZW prepaid, Page Plus
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post

    Note that the Callcentric "Dollar Unlimited" is for incoming calls only. You must receive at least one completed incoming call of at least a minute a month or the number will be terminated. I learned this the hard way.
    Callcentric's (formerly free) DID is now a paid service. The requirement to receive a monthly incoming call applied to the free service only.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,584
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by taoman View Post
    Callcentric's (formerly free) DID is now a paid service. The requirement to receive a monthly incoming call applied to the free service only.
    Thanks for that info. I will continue to make a call to it about weekly to be sure it is still working.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,584
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Pearl View Post
    bobdevnut,

    Thank you for all of the information. That's what I thought, that after porting my number to Spectrum----if I can get VZ to do what it legally should!! I would then port it to a cheap cell, then to GV. I guess I'd need a cheap cell phone to port it to. I have a really old Blackberry, don't know if that would do.
    What carrier did the Blackberry use? If it was Verizon, they won't activate it for new service even on a MVNO. They only activate VOLTE capable phones now. All of the cell services have a compatibility checker. You can check free and easy. Maybe friends, family, cow-orkers have their previous phones that they would lend for the process.

    You said, "To use an Obi you need reliable broadband Internet. It does not need to be spectacularly fast, but intermittent or packet loss won't work well."

    Spectrum has fixed the issues, and now the internet is much better. Occasionally it lags for a second or two, but that's it. We'll see if it continues to be ok. When you say "intermittent or packet loss won't work well, I assume that you mean that the phone service on the Obihai will be down if the internet is down or lagging, right?
    Does lagging for a second or two sometimes constitute much of a problem?
    Phone service on the Obi will definitely go down if your Internet is down. I don't know how much of an interruption it takes, but I would expect that a second or more would drop a call or not receive an incoming. The Obi will automatically reconnect service, but wouldn't resume a call. In the Obi setup you can have it send you an email if the service is down. I don't know what the time limit is, but it is not for every little blip.

    Sorry for your difficulties with Verizon.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    11
    Feedback Score
    0
    hey VoIP.ms now has faxing support by the way haha! Straight from 1991

    Looks like they also have 911 support. Probably not as good as a real cellphone, but at least they have it.
    https://wiki.voip.ms/article/E911

    Also get 10$ credit on sign up https://voipmsreferral.com

Similar Threads

  1. Wing/WiFi/VOIP Questions
    By BrashL in forum Windows Mobile Devices
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-21-2007, 01:32 PM
  2. Wi-Fi VOIP Questions
    By wheresmycell in forum General Mobile Questions and Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-27-2006, 10:18 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-15-2006, 09:57 AM
  4. OFF TOPIC - VOIP Question
    By mikethaler in forum T-Mobile
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-11-2006, 10:15 AM
  5. voIP questions..
    By kevin_0008 in forum General Mobile Questions and Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-10-2005, 03:41 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks