[kwlug-disc] OT: Roger's phone services

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Fri Jul 16 22:55:26 EDT 2010

On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 12:13:56PM -0700, Michael Savage wrote:
> My questions about Roger's phone service for this outfit are:
> 1. Reliability. Is the system VOIP? Is it reliable enough to replace the 
> traditional land line from Bell? I have mucho problems with cable in my house, 
> some channels don't come in clear etc.

A long time ago (before I started working here) we used to get lines
from Rogers. At the time I think Rogers was leasing regular POTS
(standard landlines) lines from Bell. 

The Internet speculates that this may or may not be the case,
depending on where you are: 


I don't know what to believe. I would assume that some kind of VoIP is
going on. 

Personally I don't think that VoIP is ever as reliable as standard
landlines, but I could be wrong. 

> 2. 911 Calls. Any issues to be aware of again? As we are a
> supportive housing project, the phone could be our lifeline.

Page 5 of the brochure below:


says that Rogers subscribes to emergency 911 service. With other VoIP
providers (Unlimitel) we needed to fill in a form that stated our
address properly for 911 calls, but Rogers knows everything about you
anyways, and so may not require this. 

> 3. Will it work without power. My home phone on the land line still
> works if we have a power failure. Again, I'm thinking reliability
> etc.

Rogers claims that there is power for 5 hours of outage, so if you are
using a standard phone you will still be able to make calls. I am not
sure how that works, exactly (doesn't your cable modem need power
too?) but I am sure they have it figured out. See page 17 (of 23)
here in the PDF above.

Then again, this page also states that "We value your business, and your
complete satisfaction is important to us" so you know they stretch
the truth in their literature. 

> 4. We are also trying to get Rogers to drop in cable access to the
> apartments at a reduced rate. Will this affect the phone system if
> we are successful? (Concern about traffic if it is VOIP?)

On page 17 of the PDF, they say that the phone is on a dedicated
network, but I don't know what to believe. 

> I'm basically trying to understand if it is a good idea to switch.
> The savings being offered are significant. To me, however the key
> would be reliability and assurance of 911 service.

I have to say that I don't recommend Rogers to anybody. Maybe they are
a necessary evil, but they have put us (and me personally) through so
much anguish over support that I have problems believing that the
savings are worth it. (Insert standard joke about the only thing worse
than Rogers being Bell here.) 

We have been moving towards a strategy of having some POTS lines, and
then saving money by purchasing VoIP lines where we can use them as
filler. I am too dumb to set up Asterisk, so we just get ATA devices
(mostly Linksys/Cisco SPA8000 boxes) and hook them up to our old
Nortel equipment. 

This has worked pretty well in one low-traffic location. In a few
months I will know whether it works in a more high-traffic situation. 

- Paul


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