VoIP Plan B

A common piece of advice in life is to try to always to have a backup plan –a “Plan B,” if you will – no matter what you are doing. While that’s generally good advice, obviously it’s not always possible. In terms of telephone service that was particularly true until recently – if your landline phone stopped working for any reason, you simply had no phone.

Then came the proliferation of cellular, and at least you could have a working phone when your landline stopped working. But of course you would still miss any calls to that landline. Now most recently there has been the ability to forward calls to your home number, but the technology is such that if that home number is not working, you’re sorry out of luck about setting up the forwarding.

Enter broadband and VoIP services, specifically services with the rich feature set of Phone.com’s Home Phone and business services. Finally, we have a Plan B. It’s really simple. All the user has to do is set up call handling rules that specify a call not answered on the standard phone be forwarded to a cell number, and perhaps after that to voice mail. The result is that if (or should I say when) the broadband stops working, the calls will automatically go to the cell phone without the user knowing or even doing anything.

The bottom line: When recently a Qwest repairman clumsily cut my DSL service – it seems a wire for my line got caught in the phone box door and ripped out when he closed it – I didn’t miss a single call. Instant Plan B.

Oh, and of course in a pinch I could have even set up that Plan B after the fact, by browsing over to the Phone.com web site on my spiffy new Windows 7 SmartPhone.

Stuart Zipper is the past Senior Editor of TelecomWeb news break and a contributing editor to Communications Technology.