Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Thu Apr 6 09:27:36 MDT 2006

On Thu,  6 Apr 2006 at 09:10 -0600, Kenneth Burgener wrote:
> I am interested in setting up VOIP for my home phone and looking for
> some suggestions.  I currently have Comcast for my phone and pay $40 a
> month.  The BroadVoice $10 plan includes everything my $40 Comcast plan
> has.  You can probably see why I am interested in switching.  We also
> have cell phones that we use primarily, and have been talking about just
> disconnecting the home phone, but my wife is not ready for that.  So I
> figured a $10 VOIP solution would work nicely for us.

There are also several prepay options available which allow you to only
pay for what you use. We don't use our phone much, and we are usually
between $7 and $10 with NuFone.net in a month.
> So here is my dilemma.  I have had two friends suggest using BroadVoice.
>  I then spoke with one of those friends on the phone.  I was very
> disappointed.  His voice sounded like a tin can, and every third word
> was dropped.  He says he is also using Comcast for Internet.  I am okay
> with cell phone quality, but this is several levels down from that.  Is
> this what I am to expect?  Is there anything that can be done about the
> quality?

It's all about the codec. If you have the bandwidth, you can use
POTS-quality (regular telephone service) mu-law. If you don't, you can
use GSM (cell-phone quality) or any of a half dozen other codecs. It's
all a tradeoff.

> My second question is that I don't want to replace my current phone
> system with SIP phones.  I would prefer to get a phone adapter.  What is
> a good high quality phone adapter?  The one that I thought was nice was
> the Cisco 168 [1].  The one my friend was using was the Linksys PAP2.
> When I looked for the PAP2 it said it requires Vonage?  What phone
> adapter device has worked best for you?

Here's where you have to watch out for providers, some (I think Vonage
is one) don't allow you to use just any old adapter. Others will let you
use whatever you want, e.g. Asterisk or any old adapter. Some adapters,
meant for those choice-limiting companies, are "locked" and only work
with their service. That's probably what the PAP2 is all about.

I have a Sipura (now sold by Linksys) ATA and I am very happy with it.

Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the 
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach
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