Category Archives: Comms

VoIP ain’t gonna happen this month

I’ve just moved houses and thought it would be a grand idea to replace our fixed phone line with a VoIP phone like that supplied by Engin. Save the $30/month fixed line rental, skip the $60 connection fee and also upgrade our net connection to broadband, come out ahead with features and finances. Everything would be great.

What a stupid idea.

The VoIP service offered by Engin is $20/mo, so you are saving $10/mo on connectivity. Our ISP costs $10/mo, so the most we can afford to pay for an ISP and come out equal is $20/mo. But if we pay only that then we are effectively getting broadband for free. The VoIP is $150, but we’ll just ignore that cost. It’s only $90 more than hooking up a fixed line.

Obviously, to use a VoIP phone you need IP connectivity – an ISP. Okay, so we’ll just sign up to one of those $20 / 200meg plans ADSL and that’ll be great; I did some figuring and we’d use nothing like that kind of traffic, even with voice calls consuming 1K/sec (all figuring based on Engin’s figures, supplied in the user forum, which has been pulled – methinks because the users were slagging them off). No problem signing up for a couple of years, no worries, I’ll be in the new place for at least that long.

You can’t have ADSL without a fixed line phone.

You Freaking WHAT?!

Fine. Cable, I’ll have cable. Call one of the two cable providers, the house has been cabled up by both. Except they’ve merged, to increase competition. No worries, I’ll call the only monopolistic cable provider, hook up (ought to be cheap, the house is already cabled up) and away we go. $279 to connect to your cable service?!?! $40/month to stay connected?!?! You Freaking WHAT?!

Fine. I happen to know that although cable and ADSL are widely regarded as your two options for broadband, there’s a third option here in Melbourne – radio. Alphalink provide superfast wireless access for only $33/mo; but connection is $286. But guess what? $33 is greater than $20. So we come out Losers.

So I resigned myself and we got a fixed line. And that’s why VoIP isn’t gonna happen this month, and I suspect won’t be happening for a long time yet.