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Anybody have Broadband Phone service, and how do you like it?

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patricia92243 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:22 PM
Original message
Anybody have Broadband Phone service, and how do you like it?
I just got broadband thru Charter and have been looking at some of the ads for using my computer as a phone service. It's a lot cheaper, but I want to be sure I'm doing the right thing.

Anybody have experience doing this?

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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. A friend of mine has it
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 06:02 PM by Heddi
I've never used it, but we thought about it breifly (for like 2 seconds) before deciding on cellphones.

This is what she has to say:

The quality is the same as a cellphone, meaning: sometimes you sound like you're under-water

be careful with using VOIP for 9-1-1 calls, as they may not be routed to a dispatcher in your area (this didn't happen to her, but I've seen it on the news)

Those are the only things she's said about it.

Oh! On edit: She also said that if your cable/broadband link goes out (like in a power outage or whatever) that you lose phone service too, and if your VOIP phone goes kooky, you have no way (unless you have a cellphone) to get telephone support for your products.
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SlackJawedYokel Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've got it thru Time Warner Cable
and while a bit pricey, it has unlimited calling in the US.
I had some very minimal issues when I first had it but since then it has been perfectly like a phone line.
No more distortion/static than you'd get with a regular phone.
And I have a pay-per cellphone in case the power goes out.

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. you could try Skype for free
here's the download site: /

i've used the free service and it's been very good ... they have something called SkypeOut that let's you call land line phone numbers ... i think the deal is you prepay them and then get charged against your balance at 2 cents per minute anywhere in the US ... not sure what the deal is for international calls ... i think they get charged at a slightly higher rate but it's still pretty cheap ...

try having a friend also download the software and then try calling each other ... that's the free part ... all you need is a microphone (or headset) and a speaker ... i've always gotten a great signal doing this although i have heard some complain about inconsistent audio quality ...

good luck ... let us know what you decide to do and how you like it ...
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. Used it, didn't like it ...

I subscribed to a trial offer and ended the subscription once that was over. It didn't impress me. The quality was fine, I suppose, and the price for nationawide LD was right, but the service overall was certainly no better than a standard phone line, which is what some of the ads try to imply.

The main reason I didn't keep it was because it didn't make me want to give up my standard phone service, primarily due to the outage issues. I have an old phone that requires no external power source for a reason. When the power goes out, as it often does in Oklahoma during storm season, I want to be able to use the phone. With broadband service, this is not possible.

The company I tried would route a 9-11 call to a local operator, but that operator could not pinpoint my location from the call. This was also an issue.

Additionally, I get my video, data, and phone service through one company. I did the math on this, and evern with unlimited LD through my current provider, I saved no money going with a broadband company.
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