What Should I Know Before I Switch?
Many consumers are switching from traditional phone service to technology that allows them to make phone calls with an Internet connection instead. But while Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP can reduce the cost of monthly phone service, there are a few things to consider.
I?m thinking about signing up for phone service from my cable television company because it would be cheaper than what I pay the phone company. But my sister said it’s a mistake because I?ll have to get a different home security system and claims there are many other problems with it. Is she right?? a Long Island man asked.
A lot depends on the company providing the phone service. If you’re thinking of switching , ask your provider how its service will interface with your fax line, digital video recording device and home security system. The products can be incompatible with the VoIP, but some cable companies have already addressed the issues.
One of the biggest concerns about VoIP is that 911 service may work differently from traditional 911 service. When you call 911 from a traditional telephone, the call is usually sent to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), where personnel automatically identify your location and dispatch the closest emergency personnel.
The Federal Communications Commission, however, said VoIP calls may not connect to a PSAP, and, even when they do, may not automatically transmit the user’s phone number or location information. VoIP service may not work during a power outage or when the Internet connection fails or becomes overloaded?considerations for both 911 calls and home security systems.
If you switch to VoIP, the FCC recommends installing a backup power supply, maintaining a traditional phone line or having a wireless phone as a backup.”