Getting the Most From Broadband Phone Services


 © 2004 ProvideTechnology, LLC
All Rights Reserved
 Written By
Jack Spirko

No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form with out the expressed written consent of the publisher.


Table of Contents

What are broadband phone services? (Why are they so inexpensive)

The simplest explanation is that broadband phone service is a way to make phone calls across an internet connection.  This greatly reduces the cost to the phone provider so they can charge you less money to provide you service. 

To understand this let’s look at the cost to provide a phone call from New York City to Dallas for the provider of the service.  Let’s say you are in New York and you pick up your phone and make the call first the call goes to your local phone office and creates an “origination charge” and there may be other charges as the call is forwarded out of the state of New York it is also best to think of these as “origination charges” to keep it simple. 

Then the call travels across the U.S. to Dallas to the person you want to call when it gets to Dallas it goes through the local phone company there and there is another charge called the “termination charge”.  So your telephone provider is charged on both ends and must add to those charges to make a profit when they provide you with service.

Now let’s look at the same situation with a broadband phone call.  Now you are in New York with a broadband phone connected to your DSL connection.  You pick up the phone and make the call the same way but what happens now is your call never goes to the New York phone offices.  It goes across the internet strait to Dallas and the provider only pays the termination charge to the Dallas company.  As you can see the provider cut the cost to complete your call in half so they can charge you a lot less.  

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What type of internet connection do I need?

Just about any broadband connection is fine including cable modem, DSL, ISDN or any connection that provides at least 128K of bandwith.  About the only type of connection that won’t work is dial up or a satellite dish connection.  

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How is the call quality?

In a word excellent!  Now if you are transferring a 500 MB file across your connection at the same time you are making a call it may cause some quality issues but for day to day use including looking up information online while making calls and sending emails you won’t notice the difference between broadband sound quality and your landline phone.  Neither will the people you call.  

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Do I use my computer to make calls or a standard phone?

You can use any phone you currently have including a cordless phone.  All that is needed is a small converter box that plugs into your broadband router and you plug any phone into that converter box to use the service.

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Why are there no taxes or fees?

Because your calls are routed across the internet and the entire industry of broadband phone service is not subject to the regulations that add these costs to the standard telephone lines. There is a small federal excise tax of 1.5% on VoIP services but there are no additional taxes or government fees. 

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Can broadband replace my home telephone?

It could but you probably should not take that approach with out a little knowledge and a trial and considering some other options.  Broadband phone has several limitations you need to understand.

1.      VoIP is not always a perfect fit and you simply can't determine how well it will work for you until you install it.  So if you do plan to Port an existing number to an IP service it is BEST to get service first, try it out, be sure you are happy with its' preformance and then and only then should you consider porting your existing number from a land line to IP Service.  There are many things that can effect IP preformance including the quality of your internet connection.  In MOST instances the service is plug and play we simply suggest you try the service before you make any major decisions.

2.      911 Access is NOT SUPPORTED in ALL AREAS.  Many providers now offer 911 access in many areas but it could be that it is not available in your area.  The simple solution is to use speed dial and enter number for  your local emergency response center (this would be listed in your phone book as the emergency phone number for your local police and fire department) this call would go to the exact same call center as a 911 call.  If you do this the only limitation is you will have to tell the person that answers the phone where you are at they won't be able to trace the call like a land line.  Also even if your IP provider does offer 911 service you would still have to tell the person at the 911 center where you are at unless your IP Provider offers E911 service.  Most providers offer 911 access that simply redirects your 911 call to the emergency response center as we advise you to do via speed dial on your own.  Currently the only service that offers E911 (in some areas) is Packet8. E911 means that if you just dial 911 and do nothing that the call center will know you have an emergency and where you are calling from.  Suffice to say with a few simple steps you can reach your 911 center from your IP phone system but it is not as automatic as a land line.

3.      You may have noticed that in a power outage that your phone still works, (unless it is cordless), this is because the phone service has their own power source and this makes phone service very reliable especially during an emergency when power is down.  Now if you have broadband phone service you plug it into your router and your router is plugged into your electrical outlet.  So if the power goes off your phone won’t work.  Again some people address this with cell phones as a back up however, a standard phone line often works even when a cell phone doesn’t.

So keeping a standard phone line in your home is a good idea in most instances.  If you want to use cellular as a back up to the above issues that is fine but please make an informed and well thought out decision before you cancel your standard telephone service.  In just a second we will tell you how to get the most from broadband phone with out giving up your existing service.  

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What type of phone number will I have?  Can anyone call me from any phone?

You will have a standard phone number that anyone can call you on from any phone.  One of the great features is that you can get a phone number in about any major U.S. city even if you don’t live there.  This gives you a choice…

1.       You can get a number local to your area like you would with any provider.  (Most people do this)

2.       You can get a number local to another city.  People ask us often why anyone would want to do this.  There is a simple reason most of the time.  Let’s say you have family and friends in the Philadelphia area but you live in Atlanta.  You could get a Philadelphia number and then your family or friends in Philadelphia could call you and it would be a local call for them.  If you are keeping your existing service this can be a very attractive feature that only broadband phone can offer.  

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How does it work? (Will I be able to install it)?

This is the most common question we get.  As a new technology people think of broadband phone as something very technical but using it is simple.  You simply order the service online and a few days later you will receive your adapter with full instructions in the mail.  All you need to do at this point is…

1.       Plug the adapter into your DSL Router / Cable Modem etc. with the included cable

2.       Plug the adapters power supply into an electrical outlet

3.       Plug your telephone into the adapter

4.       Pick up your telephone handset and dial any phone number

5.       Follow the voice instructions and enter your 10-digit code

6.       Your account will be activated and your Packet8 phone number will be read back to you. This number can also be found on your account web page.

7.       Make phone calls the same old way you always have

Basically if you can open a box, plug in three cords and make a phone call you are technically savvy enough to use this service.  

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So what do I do to get the most from this service?

Well as we stated there are some limits to broadband phone and we don’t recommend that you cancel your standard service all together.  There are three main ways our clients tell us that they get the most from this service and here they are

1.       Many people simply want a second full function line so they leave their home line the way it is and just add a broadband line.  For people that just want an additional line this makes a lot of sense.  These clients also of course make all their long distance calls on their broadband phone.

2.       Some people are content to use this service as a replacement for home service and they do cancel the existing service and use their cell phone for 911 or during a power outage or if they loose their connection to the internet.  While we DO NOT recommend this those who are doing it seem to find it works well for them.

3.       The BEST advice we can give you and the most popular way to get the most from this service is to strip down your phone service.  Simply install your broadband phone and make sure you are happy with it first.  Once you are happy with it call your local phone company and ask them to reduce your service to the most basic unlimited local plan they have.  You don’t want unlimited long distance just unlimited local calling and few or no features.  Then use the broadband phone for all long distance calls.

Option three is the one we recommend for most people.  It provides you with a reliable standard line for emergency use, lets you keep your number, works when the power is off and still gives you a great price advantage.  Consider that if your local bill is 20 bucks with fees and taxes included and Packet8 is 19.95 for about 40 dollars you get full features and unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada for under 40 dollars and you do have two phone lines as opposed to one.  Indeed this is a great option.  

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Do I get popular calling features of just a phone line?

This is a full feature service for 19.95 you get all the popular features including the following features at no additional charges?

  • Voice Mail

  • Caller ID

  • Unlimited Talk Time

  • Call Waiting

  • 3 way Conferencing

  • Caller ID Blocking

  • Call Forwarding

  • Call Waiting Caller ID  

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Where is Packet8 Available

Unlike traditional services you can use this service anywhere in the world all you need is a broadband internet connection. Remember there are no origination charges so you pay the same low rates no matter where you are calling from.

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Why does ProvideTechnology recommend Packet8?

While we have five broadband phone providers we feel that Packet8 offers the best price, best customer service, easy to understand rates and makes it inexpensive, easy and risk free for people new to broadband services to try this service to see if it is right for them.

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Do I get a guarantee?

Yes you do and this ties right into the last question as to why we are so confident in recommending Packet8 to our clients.  First Packet8 has no term contracts you can cancel service any time with no charges to do so.  More impressive is Packet8’s 30 day no risk trial.  Try the service for a month and if you are not happy with it send the equipment back and get a full refund.  This guarantee makes us very confident in recommending Packet8.

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What about international rates?

They are exceptional and remember it does not matter where you call from.  Here is a sample of some of the international rates.

  • Sydney $0.03

  • Hong Kong $0.02

  • Tel Aviv $0.03

  • Tokyo $0.03

  • London $0.02

  • Rome $0.02

Also available are unlimited packages to Europe or Asia that can be added to your service.

One example is unlimited calling  - to the US, Canada, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Moscow-Central and St. Petersburg in Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom for a total of 49.90 a month.

Other unlimited international plans can be found at our website.

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How do I order service and are there any special deals available?

Just go to our Packet8 website to place your order.  As for special deals yes we have a great one.  The cost to set up service with Packet8 is 49.90, which includes the cost of the adapter plus your first month’s bill of 19.95.  If you order service from us we will give you 5 dollars of the cost of activation reducing that cost to only $44.90 to insure that you receive this discount please make sure that you enter our discount code cog-4timefreedom and be sure to hit update card before you check out this will insure you get the $19.95 off the cost of activation.

What if I have more questions?

We are here to help you any way we can just contact by…

1.       Just send us an email with your questions to

2.       Call us with your questions toll free at 866-994-1212

3.       Visit our Packet8 web page for more details at

Can I sell this service?

Yes you can.  Some of our clients want to sell this service to others.  To do so just become a Cognigen Agent  you can sign up at if you have questions about our partner program just contact us at the information above.





© 2004 ProvideTechnology, LLC
This document is not to be reproduced with out expressed written premission.