VoIP On Vacation

As any VoIP user should realize, a critical key to good VoIP service is good broadband service. Lately I’ve been experiencing regular glitches in my service, which Century Link finally thinks they’ve tracked down to a problem with my DSL Modem. My modem isn’t responding to their diagnostic test queries, a clear indication that something is wrong, they think. Put another way, my monitoring of key issues such as latency also shows a problem with my Internet connection, which I certainly hope a new modem will eliminate.

Thus, a shiny “new” (well, actually “reconditioned” according to the box) modem is sitting on my desk in my home office, waiting for the acid test. The only catch is that the office is in Denver, and I’m currently in Florida, so it will be another couple of weeks until I can complete the test. Meanwhile, my Phone.com virtual switch is sending all of my calls to either my cell phone, or to my wife’s, at the caller’s discretion. As I wrote last week, setting that up was child’s play.

The situation also brings to memory what I find an amusing story.

The last time I got a new modem from Century Link it was sent in error, but once again I was headed out of town, so it sat on my desk, that time about six thousand miles away from where I had temporarily hung my hat. However Century Link attempted to bill me for the modem.

In the “old” days that would have meant an expensive international phone call to argue about the bill – simply not paying it was out of the question since I certainly didn’t want my DSL service disconnected. But as it happened, I had been beta testing Phone.com’s new Communicator software, which lets me use my laptop as an extension on my business VoIP system. So, using Communicator, I placed the call, at zero extra cost for the international connection. In essence Century Link was thus helping beta test the new VoIP software … being used by a customer who had dropped their landline service in favor of the far less expensive VoIP from Phone.com.