I'm Done With Copper
By stern on Dec 03, 2006
It's one thing when the content of phone calls frustrates you. It's another when the phones themselves cause the frustration. I went epsilon over my tolerance for infrastructure failure this week, and setup VOIP in the house. I was done before the first half of the Rutgers-West Virginia game.
8:00 Leave Staples with a new Linksys Vonage 2-port phone adaptor.
8:15 Plug in the phone adaptor. Power, and one port on the wireless router.
8:20 Provision a Vonage phone number. Before transferring anything over, and to make sure my problems really are isolated in Verizon's network, I spun up a new Vonage phone number, and then forwarded my existing Verizon number to the Vonage number. This is faster than having Vonage initiate the transfer, and I got instant gratification when it worked.
8:25 Install a modular phone jack next to my cable modem, and use it to splice into the existing house wiring. Had to first get the old number to ring forward to the new number, then I could cut the existing house wiring free of Verizon. Two snips, one punchdown, and one screw-down block later, and my VOIP circuit now routes through my doorbell as well, using all of the existing house wiring (including two wireless phone systems, one for each floor, and a doorbell that rings the phone).
8:35 Call my wife, noise-free (modulo 18 years of marriage). This will backfire at some future point, of course, because I won't be able to blame a bad signal-to-noise ratio when I forget to do something on the way home.
Total door-to-door (literally) service time: 35 minutes. I've since played around with the caller ID features on the Vonage web site, turned off voice mail (since I like our clunky but fun answering machine), set up network service connection forwarding (in case Comcast drops the line, Vonage will route calls to my cell phone).
Yes, I'm late to the VOIP game, and yes, this is about as technologically hip as discovering MP3s. But it's just so cool when it works. I've since initiated transfer of my home office line, and I'll move my fax machine over as well, cutting the cord with Verizon unless our first winter storm causes the snow plow to beat me to it.