New gear, an Ooma VOIP box. I plan to post more technical details soon, but the short story is that you get a sleek little box that goes between your dsl or cable modem and your router, and you get unlimited local and long distance calling. For free. For life (or 3 years, according to the TOS). Check out the Flickr set of the unboxing experience.
WIth this, I plan to turn off my landline, to the tune of about $35 a month, and by not using our mobile phones for so much long distance, reduce the calling plan for another $40 a month. The one-time cost for the box set me back about $231, so I will be even in just over 3 months. (Only recently, these things were retailing for $599.)
How do these guys stay in business? I’ll write more about this too, but the short story is that bandwidth is really, really cheap, monopolistic efforts of telecom companies notwithstanding.
So far I’m really happy with it. The online Ooma Lounge isn’t as good as Vonage’s system–for one thing, you can only see voicemails, not any kind of call logs. But the features that are there Just Work. The documentation is short and simple but thorough. Setup was a breeze.
Have you tried Ooma? Comment below. -m