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Look Ma, No Bell

On 09, May 2007 | 4 Comments | In Telecom, Toronto | By Ryan Feeley

So my transition from traditional phone line (aka POTS) is now complete. No longer dependent on the likes of Bell or Rogers, I and am using Chatham, ON based Teksavvy for both VoIP and Dry-loop DSL. I even ported my original phone number and waited the ceremonial five weeks. Internet has been incredibly reliable, and phone has been decent although sometimes exhibits VoIPish qualities, especially during big transfers. I never hear problems but the people I’m talking to sometimes do. I guess the provider knows where there bread is buttered.

Here are my suggestions for a reduced hiccup transition, which is a lot harder than it should be:

  1. Using your existing internet connection, pick a VoIP provider that will provide you with a new local number.
  2. Get VoIP hardware; either a VoIP adaptor or a SIP-capable phone and plug it into your router or DSL modem.
  3. Forward your traditional phone line to your new number.
  4. Use your new VoIP phone to place all outgoing calls.
    • Hiccup: the people you’re calling will see your new unknown number in their Call Display.
  5. Switch to a DSL provider that supports Dry-loop (aka Naked) DSL.
    • Hiccup: they will likely install a new line in a different room which means your phone and router must move with it.
  6. Thanks to phone number portability regulations, you should inform your VoIP provider that you would like to port an existing number.
  7. Wait minimum 5 weeks for the phone number transfer to take place. Your traditional phone service will be automatically cancelled when you remove the number.


Pay less as you go

On 28, Apr 2007 | 3 Comments | In Ontario, Telecom | By Ryan Feeley

7-11 Speak Out Wireless logoIt’s been four months since wifey Julia purchased a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) mobile phone and minutes from 7-11. As an illustrator chained to her home studio, she has very little need for a mobile phone. But when she’s away at Sheridan teaching, or meeting up with friends, a handy comes in handy.

For $100 she got 500 minutes and a very simple but nice Nokia handset. That’s less per minute than most of us pay during peak hours on a monthly plan. The best thing about 7-11’s minutes is that, unlike other PAYG programs, they last a full year. I was worried she would burn through her minutes fast enough to justify committing to a monthly plan, but I my fears have been allayed. After four months, the numbers are in and she’s spent $65 of the $100. That’s $16.25/month!

Telus how we’re getting Rogered.

On 10, Apr 2007 | One Comment | In Ontario, Telecom | By Ryan Feeley

With the iPhone on the horizon, and the dream of usable mobile browsing on the way, local telecom heavy-user Tom Purves posts a very disturbing graph about the cost of mobile data rates in Canada. Let’s say you want to download a few albums worth of data to you iPhone from somewhere on the net that is not one of the “authorized providers”. With current data plans it will cost in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. CRTC: please wake up and smell my ass burning because this is ridiculous.

Net Neutrality Niceness

On 20, Mar 2007 | No Comments | In Telecom | By Ryan Feeley

Is it me or does Net Neutrality sound like something nice and possibly Swiss? The name itself evokes the same warm fuzzies plaguing the name Global Warming. Not that this train has time to slow down for a re-branding, but when I explain this concept I always use the term “unfiltered internet”. Perhaps “unfettered” is even better.