The Vonage company offered me a free account for use during the production and marketing of my book Talk Is Cheap: Switching to Internet Telephones. Since the book’s long finished and the radio interviews have pretty well stopped, I decided to get my own account and transfer my home office line from SBC/AT&T to Vonage.
Switching your number from one of the traditional telephone companies can almost always (about 99% success rate) be done, but I caution everyone to expect the switch to take at least two weeks. Readers tell me they’ve waited as long as a month for their switch.
My number transferred over within a week. In fact, I hadn’t even hooked up my new Vonage router in place of my old Vonage router when the switch occurred.
I did all that this morning. The Quick Start Guide did a good job showing how to use the Vonage router (a special Linksys model customized with phone plugs) by itself as your sole network router, and how to plug it into an existing router you planned to keep. Plugs and cables are color coded, making the process about as simple as plugging in a few cables and calling a Vonage 800 number to verify service activation.
If broadband phones don’t make huge jumps in market share, it won’t be because the degree of difficulty remains high. The Vonage installation experience was about as difficult as plugging a USB device into a modern computer: not difficult at all.