cutting losses

After several months of trying out Vonage’s VoIP service, we’re punting and going back to paying through the bunghole for regular POTS.

It’s galling, because I’ve got several friends using it quite happily, so I know that it’s possible to use it relatively seamlessly and get decent service. Given enough debugging time, I’m sure I could figure out where the problem lies… but it’s been two months.

First speakeasy sold us service which flaked out because we turned out to be 17,000 feet from the CO. By rumor, our upstairs neighbors had good DSL service from Verizon, so we switched to that. James Earl Jones provided mostly decent service, but it was slow, which made the VoIP pop and sputter occasionally, and had several nasty hour-long outages at the wrong times.

Ah, said the Verizon tech. You’re at 18,000 feet from the CO, your service is just going to be spotty.

One call to RoadRunner, and we’ve got a spankingly fast cable modem, 3 times the speed of the DSL line, and everything seems peachy. Phone calls work great. That was Saturday and Sunday.

This morning, circa 10 a.m., making phone calls on the VoIP box has started causing our connection via cable modem to drop, first the upstream side, and 30 seconds later, the downstream side. Hang up the phone, everything pops back to life.

A friend said it could be the model of cable modem, but frankly, I’ve reached (and perhaps more importantly, my boss and my lady friend have reached) the limit on how much debugging time getting cheap phone service is worth to me.

Still, it’s a drag to know success is possible and to turn from it.