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Help! I have had it with AT&T landline, Alternative? Login/Join 
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posted
My landline is down & the earlyiest service appointment is Fri 25th
Situation;
1) 3 story townhome with detached garage, so I need a phone on each floor
2) I need inexpensive international calling, outgoing & incoming
3) I need fax service because IRS will only accept faxed communications
4) I work as a CPA out of my townhome & need instant client communication
5) I have only one cell phone number & despise carrying it around the home

Suggestions? The problem seems to be getting the incoming international calls at a reasonable rate on a cell phone. I pay $.04 a minute to Europe currently on my landline for outgoing & $0 for international incoming.


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If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit!

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Posts: 3190 | Location: Nashville, Tennessee | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You can check into the newer landline - was ATT UVerse, not sure what it is called now.

As for your cell phone - there are several units at Costco that allow you to connect your cell phone as a line to it. You can answer both your landline and cell line from the handsets.
 
Posts: 1962 | Location: Northern California | Registered: December 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BDA220
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I have had VOIP for a few years now, and it is OK, does require good internet service, and a good VOIP carrier. You will have to find a carrier that supports FAX, as some do not.


"Strange days have found us, strange days have tracked us down." JM
 
Posts: 728 | Location: Pacific NW | Registered: September 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
Picture of arfmel
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Don't sign up with uverse. When At&t's crappy internet service is out, your home/office phone line will be out too.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: arfmel,




 
Posts: 21037 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
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quote:
Originally posted by BDA220:
I have had VOIP for a few years now, and it is OK, does require good internet service, and a good VOIP carrier. You will have to find a carrier that supports FAX, as some do not.
VOIP, UVerse, etc., require both electric power and an active internet connection.

One advantage of old-fashioned landline service is that it is powered by Central Office 48 volt battery, totally independent from your electric company's power.

Anush -- if you have a traditional landline, once they get the problem straightened out, it should be way more reliable than the newer stuff like VOIP.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16367 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Krazeehorse
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I just switched our business over to Spectrum (formerly Time Warner). So far service is great and broadband smokes.


I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 3038 | Location: Kenton, Ohio | Registered: December 27, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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quote:
I need fax service because IRS will only accept faxed communications


You actually have to have a fax machine.
There are online fax services.
You might need an MFP or a scanner for docs though.
 
Posts: 14298 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
One advantage of old-fashioned landline service is that it is powered by Central Office 48 volt battery, totally independent from your electric company's power.


Unfortunately the "new" AT&T is in the process of converting to fiber and only providing minimal maintenance of the older landlines. I live in a neighborhood that was constructed in the 40's and 50's and have had issues with my landline since I moved here in 2000. Last week I lost my service for three days and in talking to AT&T Cs it was revealed that they are currently converting my neighborhood to fibre and once it's fully in place I will have to choose something other than my landline for telephone service, as AT&T Uvverse, Comcrap, or Wow, or Cellular. Most likely I'll go with a barebones Uverse package as I suspect it will actually cost less than what I am paying for DSL at the present.


I've stopped counting.
 
Posts: 3915 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of MtnPlinker
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If available, look at terrestrial microwave providers. That’s all we have here and it is much better than copper for us. I must say ymmv.
 
Posts: 1874 | Location: Front Range CO | Registered: April 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:
VOIP, UVerse, etc., require both electric power and an active internet connection.

And POTS requires the thing that calls itself "at&t" keep its outside copper plant (that's what all those cables and wires are called) up-to-snuff. Consider this:

All of the traditional LECs (Local Exchange Carriers, such at "at&t," Verizon) are trying to get out of providing and servicing POTS. It is no longer profitable. In fact, at my employer, "at&t" had the temerity to contact me and attempt to upgrade us to their fiber service "because the COTS (Central Office Telephone Service - similar to POTS) lines we had were going away in a couple years." (I'd ported our major phone service to Bright House Business three years ago.)

Getting out of POTS/COTS also means they get to leave behind Title 2 regulation--if they can only succeed in getting Ajit Pai of the FCC to kill it for broadband.

As they get closer to the date at which they believe they'll be able to discontinue offering POTS/COTS they're investing increasingly less resources on maintaining that outside copper plant.

They're also trying to dump DSL, which uses the same outside copper plant for "last mile" delivery. The vast majority of U-verse is simply DSL on steroids. I'll let you do the math.

quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:
One advantage of old-fashioned landline service is that it is powered by Central Office 48 volt battery, totally independent from your electric company's power.

That's true, but, in light of the above: Inconsequential. POTS is going away.

Btw: You can power a VoIP ATA for days on a small UPS.

quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:
Anush -- if you have a traditional landline, once they get the problem straightened out, it should be way more reliable than the newer stuff like VOIP.

I moved our landline number over to VoIP eight (8) months ago.


  • Monthly charge for two lines and a host of services is less than half what it was with "at&t"
  • One of those services being telespam detection and reduction. Telespam and scam calls are now essentially a thing of the past.
  • U.S. and Canada long-distance is included and international LD is a fraction of the cost of what "at&t"s was
  • Except for rare Internet outages it's been 100% reliable


With a VoIP ATA I was able to

  • Provision a new number on it,
  • temporarily disconnect the phone wiring at "at&t"s NID (Network Interface Device, aka: TelCo Demarc),
  • plug the ATA into an existing phone jack,
  • test incoming and outgoing calls, and the existing phones,
  • unplug the ATA and plug back into "at&t,"
  • port our number to the VoIP provider,
  • permanently disco the now-defunct "at&t" line once the port completed and plug the VoIP ATA back in to the existing wiring,
  • carry on with life with zero loss in phone service


Mind you: I resisted this for a long, long time--for the reasons you note.

Don't regret for a hot minute finally doing it.

I later added an automatic Internet connection fail-over to LTE. Now our VoIP phone service is utterly reliable. (As is alarm system reporting and the surveillance system.)

FAX service over VoIP is problematical. If you wanted to go this way you'd want to look into an Internet-based FAX service.

As an aside: We still had a couple FAX lines where I used to work. Except for one Exec who is stuck in the 1950s, neither of them were hardly used any more.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
 
Posts: 12275 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Btw: You can power a VoIP ATA for days on a small UPS.



In other words, you do not have to have electrical power for the phone to work???? Can you direct me to something that would work with my ATT VoIP? Thanks in advance
 
Posts: 2514 | Location: MS GULF COAST | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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quote:
Originally posted by ZSMICHAEL:
quote:
Btw: You can power a VoIP ATA for days on a small UPS.

In other words, you do not have to have electrical power for the phone to work????

Note I explicitly said you can power a VoIP ATA (Analog Terminal Adaptor) for days.

With an ATA: The device communicates to your VoIP provider(s), and supplies what looks like Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) to plain old telephones.

Even the decades-old black Western Electric Touch-Tone desk phone with a mechanical ringer I have works normally. These phones are all powered through the phone lines, which are now supplied by the VoIP ATA, rather than the TelCo.

quote:
Originally posted by ZSMICHAEL:
Can you direct me to something that would work with my ATT VoIP?

Not without knowing what equipment is being used.

In general terms: Put a small UPS on anything that plugs into a wall.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ensigmatic,




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
 
Posts: 12275 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for your help.
 
Posts: 2514 | Location: MS GULF COAST | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another vote for VOIP. We switched over to Ooma several years ago now. More reliable, MUCH cheaper and works great for us, even for faxing.

Not sure what the offer for international calling, though.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: November 29, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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