Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tools To Test Your Internet Connection, Bandwidth, & VoIP Speed And Performance

Below are a few testing tools you can use to access the quality and performance of your internet connection, bandwidth, or VoIP system.

IP Performance Test

This tool is used to test your Internet Connection speed. You can test both upload and download speeds. Results will display average bandwidth results from other ISP users that use this testing site. This will give you something to benchmark your broadband Internet connection against.

The speed test allows you to test your Internet connection from multiple locations (click the web host for additional information on each host). Your connection speed may vary from host to host for any of the following reasons: Path your ISP takes to the host, server capacity, Internet traffic, your hardware or OS, neighborhood (cable users). Finding the host that gives you the best results is a good measurement of how fast your Internet connection is.

Bandwidth Line Test

What does this do? It tests your line speed, both upload and download. The test servers are located in quality data centers for maximum accuracy. Please see the FAQ section on this speed test for further information. Please visit the Speed test result archive, to compare the results others are getting, in your area, or in your DNS domain (ISP). The average results obtained match provider advertised speeds within a reasonable margin of error.

VoIP System Test

TestYourVoIP.com will make a call from wherever you are to one of their U.S. or international test locations and report the results for free. It'll only take about 20 seconds if you have Java installed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

All You'll Ever Want To Know About WiMax Wireless Broadband Technology

Ok....mea culpa. I'll be the first to admit that there's so much I really don't know about WiMax protocol. But I do know where to look first. ;)

Intel has a very nice collection of white papers, articles, and training resources on WiMax for anyone that needs them (such as dummies like me). Skip over to Intel and see for yourself. As good a place as any to start your education.

Intel Wimax Information Resource

Topics covered by this Intel resource include:

* White Papers

- The Complete Guide to WiMAX (April 2006) A Supplement to Telephony Magazine (PDF 3.86MB)

-Intel® Centrino® Mobile Technology Reference Guide for WiMAX Networks (PDF 1.3MB)

- Mobile WiMAX - Part I: A Technical Overview and Performance Evaluation (PDF 794KB)

- Mobile WiMAX - Part II: A Comparative Analysis (PDF 2.8MB)

- OFDMA PHY SAP Interface Specification for 802.16 Broadband Wireless Access Base Station (PDF 605KB)

- Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (PDF 117KB)

- Adaptive Modulation (QPSK, QAM) (PDF 161KB)

- Understanding Wi-Fi and WiMAX as Metro-Access Solutions (PDF 343KB)

- Deploying License-Exempt WiMAX Solutions (PDF 240KB)

- Mobile WiMAX: The Best Personal Broadband Experience! (PDF 293KB)

* Training

- Wi-Fi and WiMAX as Alternatives for Implementing Last-Mile Wireless Broadband Services

- WiMAX Technology Enables Digital Movie Screening: Discussion Archive

- Wireless Broadband Standards Overview

- WiMAX, A New Revenue Opportunity

- An Introduction to IEEE 802.16

* Web Seminars

- For Service Providers
-
- Broadband Wireless: Enabling New Services Through Standards

- WiMAX, A Revenue Opportunity For Developers

- Deploying Mobile WiMax - The Path to 4G

- Broadband Wireless Access: An Introduction to WiMAX and IEEE 802.16

WiMax.com has a nice collection of news and resources too. Again...definitely worth a visit......

WiMax.com

Thursday, September 21, 2006

VoIP Equipment and Service

If VoIP is what you are looking for, you've come to the right place.

The product specialists at FreedomFire Communications can find you any service under the sun, and our VARs can find any of the following ipPBX, and VoIP equipment brands including.......

3Com-NBX, Artisoft, ADTRAN, Accutone, Adix, AltiGen, Amtelco, A+, Avaya, Bogen, Cisco, Executone, Asterisk, Extrom, Hitachi, Fujitsu/Focus, Nitsuko, Meridian, Polycom, Prostar, Plantronics, Samsung, Telco Systems, Telect, Tel-Plus, Telesynergy, Telrad, Applied Voice Technology (AVT), Artisoft, Aspect, Asterisk, Asuzi, AT&T, Atlas, Avaya, AVG-Eagle, BBS Telecom, Bizfon, Bosch, Cisco, Cohort, COM2001 Technologies, Comdial, Computer Talk Technology, Cortelco Kellogg, Creative Integrated Systems, Dash, Dba Telecom, Duvoice, Encore, Ericsson, Estech (ESI), Executone, Extrom, FCI, Flash Communications, Fujitsu, Galaxy, Harris, Hitachi, IDS, Intecom, Inter-Tel, Interactive Intelligence, Isotec, ITT, Iwatsu, Kanda, KS Telecom, Lucent Technologies, Macrotel, MCK Communications, Merlin, Mitel, NBX Corporation, NEC Communications, Newtronix, Nitsuko America, Nortel Networks, Northcom, OmniLink, Omega, Premier, Picazo Communications Quintum, Prostar, Redcom, Samsung, Spectralink, Spirit, Sprint, Starplus, Rolm, Teleco, Tadrian, TalkSwitch, Telematrix, Telrad, TIE, TMC, Toshiba, TouchWave, TransTel, Teltronics, Triad, Trilium, TT Systems, Vodavi, Walker, and more!

It's simple.....just drop by VoIP Equipment and Service and look around. You'll find exactly what you're looking for.......

Monday, September 18, 2006

Testing IP Video And Other Video Conferencing Tips

Want to learn more about quality for interactive IP Video applications like video on demand, videoconferencing, IPTV, gaming, and videotelephony?

Well....if you believe IP Video quality matters....then I suggest you test your system with TestYourIPVideo.com.

Internet-based video applications....such as video telephony, conferencing, interactive gaming, broadcast video, chat, and video on demand.....are prone to similar kinds of performance problems as VoIP. If you're considering signing up for any of these services or have a problem now - take a minute to try TestYourIPVideo.com.

TestYourIPVideo.com initiates a video transaction from wherever you are to one of their U.S. or international test locations and calculates your VQI™ (Video Quality Index). It will take about 30 seconds if you have Java installed, and it's free.

TestYourIPVideo.com is provided as a complimentary service by Brix Networks, a leading provider of performance management solutions for video and VoIP networks and applications.

For additional insights and resources on video conferencing I suggest you read these expert articles also:

* ISDN vs ADSL...Which Is Better For Video Conferencing?

* Getting The Right Bandwidth For Your Video Conferencing Applications

* Plan Ahead - Determine Your Bandwidth Requirements For Video Conferencing Early

* Smart Business: How To Manage Bandwidth Requirements For Multi-Media Applications

Thursday, September 14, 2006

SunRocket....Keep An Eye On This Broadband Phone Provider

Most folks obviously have heard of Vonage....the broadband phone provider with the annoying advertising jingle and currently the largest chunk of the North American residential VoIP phone market. Many know of Packet8 too who is the main choice for small and medium size business broadband phones as well as virtual office IP PBX systems. But....there's another player who is fast making in-roads particularly amongst residential broadband phone users. That player is relative newcomer named SunRocket.

I've done a bit of investigating to find out more about SunRocket so you can make a more educated choice on your options. Seems there's good reason why they're moving up the charts so fast.

SunRocket is a U.S.-based VOIP provider established in early 2004 by Joyce Dorris and Paul Erickson, former MCI executives who were coworkers for over ten years. SunRocket maintains primary offices in the United States and Canada, and outsources most telephone technical and sales support to the Philippines, Guam, and other nations with more cost-effective payroll demands.

Type: Incorporated

Founded: Early 2004 in Winchester, Virginia

Headquarters: Vienna, Virginia

Key people:
Paul Erickson - Chairman, Co-founder
Joyce Dorris - CMO, Co-founder
Lisa Hook - CEO
Mark Fedor: CTO

Industry: Communications services

Products: Voice over IP

Employees: 70+

Website: SunRocket

E911:

A frequent criticism of VoIP providers is that emergency telephone number service isn't available, because the physical location of a caller may not correspond to his or her listed phone number. SunRocket is compliant with FCC regulations mandating E911 capability, however the service requires subscribers to register their address with the company and, unless the subsriber is using a UPS for backup power, is not operative in the event of a power failure.

Link to SunRocket availability map

Link to SunRocket Forum - Unofficial SunRocket users group

BusinessWeek.com Review of SunRocket by Olga Kharif:

"I'd reviewed eight VoIP services in the past two months. And today, I played around with yet another service, SunRocket, which is growing in popularity. SunRocket is one of the cheapest -- if not the cheapest -- VoIP services around. For $199 a year (that's less than $17 a month), you get unlimited calling anywhere in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The company's international calling rates are pretty low, compared with other VoIP providers, too: Each month, you can do $3 worth of international calling (it's included in your plan). Calls to China, for example, cost 3 cents a minute, which is quite low.

Better yet, even though SunRocket is cheap (most low-end VoIP services start at $19.95 a month), its set-up took, like, two minutes; normally, you have to spend two hours walking through the set-up with some help from tech support. And its quality and features are impressive.

The voice calling clarity and quality are about as good as a traditional phone's. And its features are as plentiful as those of many other services I've trialed.

I could block outbound international or 411 calls. I could block anonymous calls, or calls from specific numbers (the caller I blocked would get a busy signal). Enabling caller ID, and forwarding calls from all of my friends to another number when I don't pick up was a piece of cake.

Voicemail was very easy to configure through the SunRocket site. I could get my voicemails sent to my e-mail address as a Wav file (I got the e-mail virtually immediately after a voice mail was left). I couldn't record a greeting from the Web site, though, and it took me a little while to figure out how to record it over the phone.

SunRocket also offered one important extra that most other VoIP services charge for: You get a free additional phone number with each service. That can come in handy for families where a teenager wants to have his or her own line. When a call to that line comes through, your SunRocket phone can emit a different-sounding ring. The additional number also has its own voicemail box and its own set of features. The best part is, all of this stuff doesn't cost extra.

Now, moving on to a couple of things I didn't like about the service. First off, believe it or not, SunRocket's brochures say it can take up to 10 days since you activate the service for you to be able to receive inbound calls. Granted, I was able to get incoming calls right the way. Still, I've never heard of any other VoIP service companies saying that users might have to wait for up to 10 days for their service to start to work. That's a bit over the top, that.

Second annoyance: You only get to make two free directory assistance calls per month. Most other VoIP services make all 411 calls free. Lastly, I just need to mention that the first DSL adapter SunRocket sent me was defective. That said, the company had already discontinued that equipment line. And the new gear they sent me works like clockwork.

Overall, I'd say the service works pretty well."

So....now you know a bit more about the new kid on the block (relatively new anyway). Should you want to learn more details....or consider ordering SunRocket service....simply visit their website: SunRocket Broadband Phone.

Monday, September 11, 2006

....Just What Is DSL??....

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a technology for bringing high-bandwidth information to homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines. xDSL refers to different variations of DSL, such as ADSL, HDSL, and RADSL. Assuming your home or small business is close enough to a telephone company central office that offers DSL service, you may be able to receive data at rates up to 6.1 megabits (millions of bits) per second (of a theoretical 8.448 megabits per second), enabling continuous transmission of motion video, audio, and even 3-D effects. More typically, individual connections will provide from 1.544 Mbps to 512 Kbps downstream and about 128 Kbps upstream. A DSL line can carry both data and voice signals and the data part of the line is continuously connected. DSL installations began in 1998 and will continue at a greatly increased pace through the next decade in a number of communities in the U.S. and elsewhere. Compaq, Intel, and Microsoft working with telephone companies have developed a standard and easier-to-install form of ADSL called G.lite that is accelerating deployment. DSL is expected to replace ISDN in many areas and to compete with the cable modem in bringing multimedia and 3-D to homes and small businesses.

How It Works

Traditional phone service (sometimes called POTS for "plain old telephone service") connects your home or small business to a telephone company office over copper wires that are wound around each other and called twisted pair. Traditional phone service was created to let you exchange voice information with other phone users and the type of signal used for this kind of transmission is called an analog signal. An input device such as a phone set takes an acoustic signal (which is a natural analog signal) and converts it into an electrical equivalent in terms of volume (signal amplitude) and pitch (frequency of wave change). Since the telephone company's signalling is already set up for this analog wave transmission, it's easier for it to use that as the way to get information back and forth between your telephone and the telephone company. That's why your computer has to have a modem - so that it can demodulate the analog signal and turn its values into the string of 0 and 1 values that is called digital information.

Because analog transmission only uses a small portion of the available amount of information that could be transmitted over copper wires, the maximum amount of data that you can receive using ordinary modems is about 56 Kbps (thousands of bits per second). (With ISDN, which one might think of as a limited precursor to DSL, you can receive up to 128 Kbps.) The ability of your computer to receive information is constrained by the fact that the telephone company filters information that arrives as digital data, puts it into analog form for your telephone line, and requires your modem to change it back into digital. In other words, the analog transmission between your home or business and the phone company is a bandwidth bottleneck.

Digital Subscriber Line is a technology that assumes digital data does not require change into analog form and back. Digital data is transmitted to your computer directly as digital data and this allows the phone company to use a much wider bandwidth for transmitting it to you. Meanwhile, if you choose, the signal can be separated so that some of the bandwidth is used to transmit an analog signal so that you can use your telephone and computer on the same line and at the same time.

Splitter-based vs. Splitterless DSL

Most DSL technologies require that a signal splitter be installed at a home or business, requiring the expense of a phone company visit and installation. However, it is possible to manage the splitting remotely from the central office. This is known as splitterless DSL, "DSL Lite," G.Lite, or Universal ADSL and has recently been made a standard.

Modulation Technologies

Several modulation technologies are used by various kinds of DSL, although these are being standardized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Different DSL modem makers are using either Discrete Multitone Technology (DMT) or Carrierless Amplitude Modulation (CAP). A third technology, known as Multiple Virtual Line (MVL) another possibility.

Factors Affecting the Experienced Data Rate

DSL modems follow the data rate multiples established by North American and European standards. In general, the maximum range for DSL without a repeater is 5.5 km (18,000 feet). As distance decreases toward the telephone company office, the data rate increases. Another factor is the gauge of the copper wire. The heavier 24 gauge wire carries the same data rate farther than 26 gauge wire. If you live beyond the 5.5 kilometer range, you may still be able to have DSL if your phone company has extended the local loop with optical fiber cable.

The Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM)

To interconnect multiple DSL users to a high-speed backbone network, the telephone company uses a Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM). Typically, the DSLAM connects to an asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network that can aggregate data transmission at gigabit data rates. At the other end of each transmission, a DSLAM demultiplexes the signals and forwards them to appropriate individual DSL connections.

Who's Offering It When

DSL is now offered in most parts of the United States, in the UK, and elsewhere. The availability of DSL service depends on whether a local company has made the necessary investment in equipment and line reconditioning and on your own proximity to the telephone company.

Some companies offering DSL service in various parts of the United States include BellSouth, Covad, Primary Network, Qwest, SBC Communications, and Verizon. In general, a faster and more expensive is offered for business users.

Types of DSL

ADSL

The variation called ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is the form of DSL that will become most familiar to home and small business users. ADSL is called "asymmetric" because most of its two-way or duplex bandwidth is devoted to the downstream direction, sending data to the user. Only a small portion of bandwidth is available for upstream or user-interaction messages. However, most Internet and especially graphics- or multi-media intensive Web data need lots of downstream bandwidth, but user requests and responses are small and require little upstream bandwidth. Using ADSL, up to 6.1 megabits per second of data can be sent downstream and up to 640 Kbps upstream. The high downstream bandwidth means that your telephone line will be able to bring motion video, audio, and 3-D images to your computer or hooked-in TV set. In addition, a small portion of the downstream bandwidth can be devoted to voice rather data, and you can hold phone conversations without requiring a separate line.

Unlike a similar service over your cable TV line, using ADSL, you won't be competing for bandwidth with neighbors in your area. In many cases, your existing telephone lines will work with ADSL. In some areas, they may need upgrading.

CDSL

CDSL (Consumer DSL) is a version of DSL, trademarked by Rockwell Corp., that is somewhat slower than ADSL (1 Mbps downstream, probably less upstream) and has the advantage that a "splitter" does not need to be installed at the user's end. Rockwell no longer provides information about CSDL at its Web site and does not appear to be marketing it.

G.Lite or DSL Lite

G.lite (also known as DSL Lite, splitterless ADSL, and Universal ADSL) is essentially a slower ADSL that doesn't require splitting of the line at the user end but manages to split it for the user remotely at the telephone company. This saves the cost of what the phone companies call "the truck roll." G.Lite, officially ITU-T standard G-992.2, provides a data rate from 1.544 Mbps to 6 Mpbs downstream and from 128 Kbps to 384 Kbps upstream. G.Lite is expected to become the most widely installed form of DSL.

HDSL

HDSL (High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line), one of the earliest forms of DSL, is used for wideband digital transmission within a corporate site and between the telephone company and a customer. The main characteristic of HDSL is that it is symmetrical: an equal amount of bandwidth is available in both directions. HDSL can carry as much on a single wire of twisted-pair cable as can be carried on a T1 line (up to 1.544 Mbps) in North America or an E1 line (up to 2.048 Mbps) in Europe over a somewhat longer range and is considered an alternative to a T1 or E1 connection.

IDSL

IDSL (ISDN DSL) is somewhat of a misnomer since it's really closer to ISDN data rates and service at 128 Kbps than to the much higher rates of ADSL.

RADSL

RADSL (Rate-Adaptive DSL) is an ADSL technology from Westell in which software is able to determine the rate at which signals can be transmitted on a given customer phone line and adjust the delivery rate accordingly. Westell's FlexCap2 system uses RADSL to deliver from 640 Kbps to 2.2 Mbps downstream and from 272 Kbps to 1.088 Mbps upstream over an existing line.

SDSL

SDSL (Symmetric DSL) is similar to HDSL with a single twisted-pair line, carrying 1.544 Mbps (U.S. and Canada) or 2.048 Mbps (Europe) each direction on a duplex line. It's symmetric because the data rate is the same in both directions.

UDSL

UDSL (Unidirectional DSL) is a proposal from a European company. It's a unidirectional version of HDSL.

VDSL

VDSL (Very high data rate DSL) is a developing technology that promises much higher data rates over relatively short distances (between 51 and 55 Mbps over lines up to 1,000 feet or 300 meters in length). It's envisioned that VDSL may emerge somewhat after ADSL is widely deployed and co-exist with it. The transmission technology (CAP, DMT, or other) and its effectiveness in some environments is not yet determined. A number of standards organizations are working on it.

x2/DSL

x2/DSL is a modem from 3Com that supports 56 Kbps modem communication but is upgradeable through new software installation to ADSL when it becomes available in the user's area. 3Com calls it "the last modem you will ever need."

Above courtesy of HowStuffWorks.com

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What is a NxT1? (....aka Bonded T1 Bandwidth....)

What Is A NxT1? (otherwise known as a bonded T1 line)

With the NxT1 access option (also called a bonded T1 line), the user can obtain bandwidth above 1.5 Mbps (a single T1 bandwidth circuit) without requiring DS3 access. A bonded T1 or NxT1 connects 2, 3 or 4 dedicated T1 circuits (3 Mbps, 4.5 Mbps or 6 Mbps, respectively).

NxT1 Access is provided through a combination of software and hardware components, giving greater bandwidth by automatically load balancing traffic over multiple T1 bandwidth links. At 1.5 Mbps, T1 lines simply do not have sufficient bandwidth to deal with the new demands being made on networks. Yet fiber-based T3 circuits are overkill for many small and midsized businesses. T3 provides 45-Mbps bandwidth, but it comes at a steep premium: T3 circuits lease for upwards of $3,000 a month, compared to as low as $400 for T1 lines. Moreover, T3 circuits are not easily available to many businesses, while T1 lines are ubiquitous.

The price/bandwidth/availability gap between TI and T3 is sending businesses and service providers alike scrambling for cost-effective ways to fill needs. They are finding that, because until recently there was little demand for bandwidth between T1 and T3, no one has developed a truly effective means to fill the T1-T3 gap. Many business users expected that digital subscriber line technology, cable, wireless, or ATM would solve the gap problem. For a variety of reasons, however, ranging from insufficient bandwidth to asymmetric bandwidth (bandwidth upstream is lower than bandwidth downstream), efficiency, or cost, no one technology offers all the characteristics required by business applications.

Asymmetrical DSL is primarily a residential service and is focused on universal ADSL (UADSL), promises to offer speeds up to 7 Mbps downstream. However, it suffers from a low upstream speed of only 768 kbps today. In addition, ADSL has very limited deployment. DSL in general also suffers from a lack of standards and from bandwidth variation depending on the location, length, and quality of the copper lines.

Now, there is an exciting, new approach to bundling T1 circuits that solves the issues that limited the value of earlier NxT1 solutions, promising to finally fill the T1-T3 gap.

This solution employs the industry standard Multilink Point to Point Protocol and Multilink Frame Relay protocol to bundle multiple T1 and fractional T1 lines, creating a single, symmetrical, virtual multimegabit access path with bandwidth equivalent to that of the aggregated copper lines.

For instance, a multimegabit circuit created by bundling together six T1 lines will behave as a single circuit with approximately six times the throughput of a single T1 line but only one-sixth of the latency. The solution is scalable, enabling businesses to start with network access at 1.5 Mbps and move upward as their bandwidth requirements grow.

What Is The Advantage Of NxT1 Or Bonded T1 Bandwidth?

A principal advantage to purchasing multiple T1 circuits is the attainment of diversity across carrier backbones when used with a bundling protocol such as Border Gate Protocol or Cisco Express Forwarding.

Where Can You Obtain A NxT1 Or Bonded T1 Bandwidth Solution?

I suggest you use the free consulatative and rate quote service provided by ShopForT1 and FreedomFire Communications. They'll research the best available solution for your specific location, application(s), and requirements including comparing multiple providers and negotiating the most cost effective package for your needs. All at no cost to you.

Simply input your requirements at T1 bandwidth Solution

Monday, September 04, 2006

Has The Vonage Death Watch Begun...Or Just Continuing?

With respect to Vonage lately...as a customer or investor...if you don't have a paddle for your life boat you'd at least better find yourself a good fitting life preserver.

Why?

Here's just a few reasons...as if you need more than 1 of these.

- At first glance at the numbers....it "looks" like Vonage's revenue increased from 12 months ago, but sales and marketing expenses increased substantially. In its first earning report since its IPO in May, Vonage announced a loss of $74.1 million for the second quarter, compared with a loss of $63.6 million 12 months ago. The loss, about $1.16 a share, came despite revenue of $143.4 million, compared to $59.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

- Vonage's marketing costs increased to $90 million, a 46 percent increase over the year prior. Acquiring a new subscriber cost the Holmdel, N.J.-based company $239, up from $236 last year. Their monthly churn rate was 2.3 percent, or about 43,000 turnovers every 30 days. A survey by Brix Networks cited call quality as the main factor for why consumers decide to switch service providers.

- Vonage began trading publicly on May 24, at $17 per share. Faced with lawsuits , and little investor confidence, the stock has plummeted to $6.98 (as of August 1).

- In 11 years of operation, Vonage has yet to turn a profit. At its current rate of spending, Vonage will spend almost all of the proceeds of the IPO in customer acquisition in a single year at a rate of over $200 per customer.

- Vonage, which has about 1.9 million subscribers, still holds a substantial lead in the pure-play VoIP subscriber market, but is facing stiff competition from cable companies, traditional telecos, and low-priced new companies. According to a study by Infonetics Research, Vonage held 27 percent of the North America subscriber market. But, combined, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable held 39 percent of the market. Vonage once had a pretty substantial lead... but has since been passed by fast growing Cable company growth in offering their broadband phone services.

- Vonage is also seeing competition from companies offering cheaper and cheaper Internet calls. Skype has its free SkypeOut calling offer , which will expire at the end of the year. Also, Gizmo Project is offering free calls to landlines and mobiles in in 60 countries.

- Cable providers who offered telephone services ranked higher in customer satisfaction per a J.D. Powers & Associates report.

- Vonage CEO Mike Snyder cited an increase of average revenue per line, which rose $27.70 from $26.63 a year ago, as a good sign for the company. My take.....they're charging customers more which is why average revenue per line is up about $1.07. Combine that they charge more than their competition with their poor reputation for call quality and customer service...and that churn rate is going to go up too. Which will affect their average costs again.

- The initial success of the Vonage IPO has soured. So much so in fact that a shareholder lawsuit against Vonage in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey..... by the Atlanta-based law firm Motley Rice..... asserts that the Internet telephony provider, its officers and the IPO’s underwriters misled investors. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Vonage’s officers decided to offer shares to customers because they knew institutional investors who normally buy IPOs would be reluctant to buy Vonage stock.

- A recent report from Telephia showed that more than 27 percent of VoIP subscribers who are likely to change providers cite network quality as their main reason for wanting to switch. Better pricing plans and improved customer service were also critical factors in why subscribers would switch service providers. Also, more than 12 percent of all VoIP subscribers are likely to leave their current VoIP service provider for another supplier within a year. "The VoIP market is highly competitive with many different players trying to get a bigger slice of the market share. Service providers who offer the best customer experience through superior product quality and excellent customer service will beat out their competition," said Kanishka Agarwal, vice president of new products, Telephia. None of this bodes well for Vonage in their current state and is likely to drive up costs.....and therefore debts...even more.

The heck with the oars and life preserver. I'd dumpVonage and find yourself another boat altogether. My suggestion....SunRocket or Packet8.

SunRocket.....offers both a monthly and an annual unlimited calling flat rate package. SunRocket Signature Service comes packed with everything you need automatically included in the bottom-line price. The annual package is only $199/year - that's under $17 per month! Includes a free extra number, all taxes, and no hidden fees. Fast growth is capturing a good chunk of the North American market. Financially stable and well backed.

Packet8.....offers unlimited local and long distance broadband phone service covering calls to all of Canada and the USA. Impressive international calling packages also available. Residential plans as low as $19.99/month, and business plans starting from $34.99. Specializes in small-medium size business including their award winning Virtual Office Suite and video phone service. Whole house broadband phone package based on industry leading Uniden phones is a standout. When you choose Packet8 for your phone service, you're getting best-in-class technology from an industry leading VoIP and videophone communications service provider, along with high quality of service, outstanding reliability and features galore. Here for the long haul with financial stability backed by industry leading business niche services.