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Talk Is Cheap by James E Gaskin

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What You Get with a Broadband Phone

Every broadband phone company includes their list of standard features on their web site. They normally have a cleverly labeled menu item named Features. Figure 5-1 shows the Vonage Features page.

When you click on any of the features, a full page explanation of the feature loads automatically. The left side of the screen shows the list of features so you can easily drill down on any feature that strikes your fancy.

Main feature list on the Vonage web site

Figure 5-1. Main feature list on the Vonage web site

Some of the features you will always get from a broadband phone provider are:

  • Free calls to other subscribers of the same service

  • Caller ID

  • Call Waiting

  • Call Forwarding

  • Make calls to traditional telephones

  • Receive calls from traditional telephones

  • Web-based control over your account and feature configuration

  • Missed call notification/voicemail of some kind

  • Calls to any phone in the continental U.S. without long distance charges

These are the minimum features you should expect from any phone-centric broadband phone service like Vonage. If you don’t see these features on a potential service provider, click to the next broadband phone company.

Some differences between broadband phone providers can be determined by answering the following questions before signing up:

  • Can you port your existing phone number to the new service?

  • Is Canada considered part of free North American call zone?

  • Are Alaska and Hawaii ...

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