Does anyone use a V...
 
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Does anyone use a VOIP phone - and how does it work?

 
bobfaris
(@bobfaris)
New Member

The whole question is in the topic

Thanks

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Topic starter Posted : February 21, 2010 10:28 pm
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

I`ve spoke with many on Skype (Skype on their end, land line on mine).
Um, it s(_) (ks, they sound like Darth Vader underwater.

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Posted : February 21, 2010 10:34 pm
bobfaris
(@bobfaris)
New Member

Thanks - I am talking about Vonage primarily - does Broadband VI have enough bandwidth? Thinking again about migrating to STX - but MUST have a great phone service (free long distance) - do business all over the 50 states and PR. Need good Internet service as well.

Bob

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Topic starter Posted : February 21, 2010 11:37 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Y'know, Bob? Any time someone says they MUST have something in the VI, I see red flags all over the place. What if you didn't have "it" for some reason?

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Posted : February 22, 2010 12:42 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

I've used VoIp here for five years. The provider recently sold its business, and the new provider charges $25/mo plus $99/set-up fee and calling the states is "free." The new provider is SunFone, and they can be reached at 340-715-7600.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 12:56 am
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

And it is as clear as a land line. Most cell phone services offer free long distance packages. Use that.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 1:12 am
br1k
 br1k
(@br1k)
Advanced Member

Standard SIP based VOIP works fine on BBVI. That said, Skype has better codecs that provide excellent call quality with less bandwidth.
I.e. with standard SIP based service (like Vonage) using default codecs you might be taking up 1/4 to 1/2 of your 1Mbit link with a single conversation and, as a result, quality may suffer, while with Skype you could be under 1/10th. It's not that you can't make regular VOIP take less, but default settings are not good and most users wouldn't know how to change that (nor would a large operator like Vonage be able to explain - you simply don't get to talk to people that have a clue on their end).

So Skype is better if you "just want it to work". Cheaper too.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 2:41 am
bobfaris
(@bobfaris)
New Member

Thanks all!!! - to be feasible - I guess I need to ask the question a different way. I need a phone provider that offers unlimited long distance like we have here now. I have a flat rate and can call anywhere free - well not overseas -

That is the question I guess - I need a phone connection - that is clear & dependable for all 50 states and PR from STX.

Sorry for making this confusing. I have to spend several hours/day on the phone to my directors and agents across the USA and PR.

Bob

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Topic starter Posted : February 22, 2010 3:17 am
sloop jones
(@sloop_jones)
Advanced Member

We use ATT. Our service plane is either .04 or .07 per minute on calls to the US. We have a special rate on one line for calls to Canada, and
on another line a special rate for calls to El Salvador

sloop

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Posted : February 22, 2010 9:03 am
mbrowningbaker
(@mbrowningbaker)
Active Member

I use Vonage and Skype. The Choice connection does not support either but the Innovative connection does.

Marion

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Posted : February 22, 2010 11:54 am
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

I've used our Vonage service with Innovative's 1 mbps service and Broadband VI's 1 mbps service and it worked flawlessly with both. Audio quality is crystal clear on both ends of the phone wherever I call including international calls. The only drawback is you can't get a local 340 phone number so I now have Vonage for calls outside the island and Innovative's local service for a 340 number (and I have a 2-line phone system.)

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Posted : February 22, 2010 12:09 pm
bathiel
(@bathiel)
Trusted Member

I'm in a similar boat. I spend four months on STX and need great voice and Web connection to deal with clients around the world. We use Skype, but frankly, it sucks here. For whatever reason--the connection, our electrical service, who knows?--I can't get through a Skype call without delays, distortions and missed words and sentences. So we've been forced to dump Skype while here and rely on our cell phones, which isn't a big deal because we have AT&T and VI/PR are part of our standard calling package (unlimited local and long-D).

Bernie

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Posted : February 22, 2010 12:12 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

I used to make Skype video calls from my laptop with Innovative DSL back in '08 and it worked pretty well - not perfect but pretty well. At the time I would make a daily call or two back to the family in Seattle. Haven't tried it at all since they moved down in summer '08 though but with my faster connection service I would hope it'd be near perfect yet people seem to be having problems with plain audio calls on Skype.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 12:35 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

We use skype for visits with grandchildren. It's not perfect, but adequate for this kind of conversation.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 2:10 pm
jefgar
(@jefgar)
Advanced Member

I have AT&T nation-wide unlimited cell phone plan. Unlimited calls anywhere in the US (including to/from the VI); $69.99/month plus $10 each for my wife and son's phones to be included in the package. Works fine; just a few places on STX where there's no coverage (can be seen on the ATT wireless website "coverage viewer.") The ONLY reason we have a local phone line is for our fax machine.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 3:05 pm
Darrin
(@Darrin)
Advanced Member

I have used a MajicJack for the last few months. They don't offer a 340 area code either, but you can choose almost any state side area code.

Br1k is right about the bandwidth it takes. I use Broadband VI on the 512K plan, and I hear some dead spaces every now and then. I called and had Broadband bump me up to 1MB and it was land line quality. I don't use it a lot, so I went back down to 512k and it's usable.

I paid $100 for the MajicJack with 5 years of service and unlimited long distance.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 6:39 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

We tried Skype for a little while on Broadband VI, using Skype-to-Skype and Skype-to-landline. The quality and disconnects wasn't worth the headache. Now we use it only if our landline is dead. With Broadband VI, the speed and mini-outages seem to be slowly getting worse.

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Posted : February 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

I have used Vonage, Skype and a MagicJack with BroadbandVI.

Wife used Vonage to do long marketing survey calls from STX to US. Often experienced cut outs and so she hated the service. Calling any number in the VI is billed as an international call which are not included in Vonage's base rate.

Currently I use Skype for calls to Europe. Sixty to ninety minutes of calls from computer to phones monthly. Ninety five percent of the time no problems. Since we are calling family if a connection is bad simply call back. Skype works well on my I-phone so when traveling internationally I can go to a hot spot and make calls without paying AT&T's high fees.

MagicJack works well most of the time also. Big advantage over Skype is you have an inbound number without paying an extra fee. Use it when I'm traveling overseas so people can call me. Computer has to be fired up for it to work. Almost impossible to hook a fax machine up to it and get it send more than one page. 340 area code isn't available.

I currently use a fixed base cell phone with three watts of power and an external antennae mounted on the roof. I have it set up to back feed all the telephone jacks in my home. Since it is an additional line with AT&T on my family plan it costs me $9.99 per month plus taxes. Since AT&T has hooked their tower equipment up to standby generators their service is much more reliable. The biggest downside is the equipment is not subsidized so expect to pay close to $500 for a fixed base cell phone. Fixed base phone runs on AC but has batteries for up to four hours service. AT&T no longer supports fax service using wireless so you no longer can send or receive faxes if AT&T is your wireless carrier.

It will be interesting to see how SunFone works out. They have several things going for them; local telephone numbers, low cost compared to Innovative, free long distance and they are saying the BroadbandVI will assign a higher QOS to SunFone's VOIP data packets than standard traffic.

Almost any service is equal to or better than Innovatives which runs only some of the time on deteriorated copper pairs.

Jim

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Posted : February 23, 2010 2:08 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

Jim, I was about to write and tell you you're off about Vonage and that we don't pay charges for calls to USVI but I just checked my bill and YOU'RE RIGHT! I had no idea - fortunately it's .06/minute and we only used it when our local Innovative number wasn't working so only a few dollars per billing cycle on average. I'll have to investigate the SunFone option soon...

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Posted : February 23, 2010 9:00 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Jim, GoodToGo,

I've had Vonage in Virginia for about 4 years now. Recently (about 6 months ago) they announced their "VonageWorld" plan. It's the same $25/month, but now includes the "World". I finally called them and asked what it would cost to change to that. They said, no additional cost... you just have to request it. So, I switched. I tried a test call from Virgnia to STX and there were no additional charges (no $.06/minute).

So, are you on the "VonageWorld" plan?

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Posted : February 23, 2010 9:13 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

EngRMP, thanks!!! I just logged in and changed over to this plan for no cost.

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Posted : February 24, 2010 1:53 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Yup, I remember thinking, when I first saw the adds for the "World Plan", that surely this must be an ADDITIONAL $25.... 'cause, otherwise, why wouldn't they just automatically switch all of us existing customers over to the new plan... more coverage, same price... we'd be in love with Vonage, wouldn't we????? Finally, after a few months the curiosity killed me and I had to call and ask. I wanted to smack them!... yup, all you have to do is ask....

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Posted : February 24, 2010 4:33 pm
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