[note: make sure you read the follow up article here]
I’ve had a Vonage VoIP line for a year now in my home/office. I’ve been really pleased with it much of the time and quite annoyed with it some of the time.
The biggest issue is quality of service and 1-800 numbers. The latter is totally annoying – Vonage simply can’t seem to connect to many 1-800 numbers which means I have to use my home Telus line to make those calls.
Quality of service issues generally involve those nasty half-second delays, even on local calls, which really makes business conversations difficult. And frankly, sometimes the line just sounds like crap even when I’m calling across town.
On the other hand, Vonage has a great web interface to the phone features, being able to change call forwarding and other functions from the web site is vastly superior to doing it through a phone menu.
So, with some new options available, I figured it was time to give try something new.
Today Shaw installed my digital phone. I’ll use both services for a while and see if Shaw’s QOS is as good as they claim.
If my first call out is any indication, they may be coming back to pick up the gear real soon. When I asked my client if the phone quality sounded any better, he said ‘no’ and that in fact the line sounded like I was on a bad cell phone that was cutting out. Interestingly, he sounded fine to me – so we’ll see.
No web interface to the phone features from Shaw, so that sucks.
Also, be warned. The digital phone installer attaches a very big Motorola modem right to the wall where your phone jack lives. Shaw’s promotions for the digital phone make a big deal about not having to run wires, but they sure don’t say anything about the HUGE black box they attached to the wall near my phone jack. Dudes, this is progress ?
The big (and ugly) black box does come with it’s own built-in UPS, so if the AC power fails, it will keep running on its internal battery for up to 8 hours.
I’ll keep you posted on my comparison of the two services. Seems like the perfect opportunity for one of my famous pie charts.