[Hidden-tech] Re: Comcast Phone Services

Will Loving will at dedicationtechnologies.com
Tue Oct 10 19:22:20 EDT 2006

I live in South Amherst and have been very pleased with my switch from
Sprint long distance to Comcast Digital Voice for both our house line and my
business phone. The signal is much stronger and clearer than what I had with
Sprint or ChoiceOne before that, and I once again have a stutter tone when
there is waiting voicemail, something Sprint did not offer. We have a few
occasions when the line appears to 'reset', meaning it drops the call and
goes immediately to a dialtone. It's happened maybe a half dozen times in
the last 18 months.

The cost is between $40 and $55/month depending on whatever other services
you purchase and includes unlimited calling in US and territories plus all
features such as caller ID, three way calling, forwarding, multiple
mailboxes, 911, etc. Long distance to Canada is 0.05/minute, UK =
0.08/minute, etc and you can get a second line with unlimited calling for
$10 without features or $20 with all features. Installation includes a
backup battery unit which keeps a current on the line for power outages -
approx 9 hours of talk time, much more on standby.

In doing my research on phone options before trying Comcast's service, I
talked with a couple of technicians about how Comcast does this service.
Unlike a 'normal' VOIP service like Vonage or AllTel, Comcast does NOT
convert the signal to IP packets directly from your phone and send them over
you internet connection. Instead, the phone signal runs over the Coax cable
upstream a ways where it is THEN converted to packets. I assume this
explains the difference in sound quality between my phone service - which is
excellent - and friends who have Vonage or other VOIP services. Vonage
requires that you have internet service of some sort and it sends out over
that connection. Comcast Digital Voice does not require that you also have
internet service, though they do discount each service the more you get.

By the way, for those of you who have non-home-based offices, be aware that
if you purchase Comcast Business Internet for your office (home offices and
bars excluded) they throw in Standard cable TV as well. It's not cheap and
you might get a better deal with DSL for static IP internet, but it's
something to be aware of.

Will Loving

on 10/10/06 4:12 PM, Chris Duncan, GISmatters at duncan at GISmatters.com

>    ** Be a Good Dobee and help the group, you must be counted to post .
>    ** Fill out the survey/skills inventory in the member's area.
> This discussion is of particular interest to me at this time.  I have been
> using Verizon DSL for 2+ years in Amherst and have essentially no
> complaints.  I have found the service to be reliable and "as advertised" in
> all respects, and customer service to be adequate and available.
> We are about to move (home office included) up the road a mile or so, and
> there is no DSL available at the new address, so it seems our only option
> is going to be Comcast.  I'm wondering if responders to this thread could
> further indicate whether there's anything they recommend during the order
> and setup of Comcast service to minimize problems.  For example, maybe the
> last chance I'll have to get any customer service is when they come to set
> it up (as I'm told they will)... anything I can do to maximize use of that
> opportunity and make sure things are going to run smoothly?  Any special
> configurations or service plans from them that will give me less grief than
> some of what's being reported here?
> Also, I'm considering a bundle from Comcast that includes phone service...
> pros/cons on that service?
> Thanks,
> Chris



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