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149 posts

Master Geek

# 175884 14-Jul-2015 22:27
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My situation:
Rural location, internet connection by RBI wireless. Wishing to save costs on phone services by moving to VOIP. But after the recent weather event in our area with widespread cellular outage for a lengthy period I am wary of putting all communication eggs in the cellular basket. So, wanting to retain the landline for emergency use.

Does anyone provide a low cost no-frills landline? At one time you could pay less and forgo the free local calling, but neither Spark nor Vodafone appear to offer this now. Any ideas very welcome...

Aside: The 'ancient' technologies - PSTN phone line and AM radio can be relied upon when all the new stuff falls over...

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3539 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1343408 14-Jul-2015 22:39
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Hello again ColinUU!  I remember helping you get set up on RBI many months ago.  Glad to hear it is continuing to do the job for you.

We haven't had a landline since 2006 and I can't say I've missed it at all.  Everytime there are floods in the area, the Chorus guy is out fixing faults for days, so I don't imagine a pair of copper wires buried in the ground are going to help you greatly.

However, I hear what you're saying about redundancy, and wonder if you have cellular coverage from Spark at your place?

Recently I switched away from 2 Degrees because they also use the Vodafone network and it meant that when the local Vodafone site is down, we had no phone AND no internet.  Too many eggs in one basket as you say.  So I've recently switched to Skinny who use the Spark network and we now have backup services for phone and internet if the Vodafone site goes down (happens more than we expected).  With $5 of credit loaded onto my phone, I can make a few quick calls @ 20c per minute before I need to top up again.  Or if I'm going to be using it more, I buy a $16 combo which gives me 100 minutes and 500MB of data.

I doubt that you'll get a landline for much less than $50 per month these days, if bought separately without any internet.

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Uber Geek


  # 1343426 15-Jul-2015 02:50
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For emergencies (not sure what is defined there), could analogue radio be an option. What are satellite phone prices like these days?

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1528 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1343473 15-Jul-2015 09:04
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Try this company. $59 per month for unlimited ADSL2 and $7 per month for a VOIP line.

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Uber Geek

Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1343475 15-Jul-2015 09:05
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ajw: Try this company. $59 per month for unlimited ADSL2 and $7 per month for a VOIP line.

The OP wants a landline, not naked broadband..

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Uber Geek

  # 1344478 15-Jul-2015 09:50
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ajw: Try this company. $59 per month for unlimited ADSL2 and $7 per month for a VOIP line.

They are an HDnet company, so that should be enough to steer clear anyway.

But apart from anything else, $59+$7 is More expensive than just getting a standard landline from spark.

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Uber Geek

  # 1344501 15-Jul-2015 10:42
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ajw: Try this company. $59 per month for unlimited ADSL2 and $7 per month for a VOIP line.

And given the OP's on RBI wireless means that xDSL services probably aren't available in the area anyway.

149 posts

Master Geek

  # 1344995 15-Jul-2015 20:28
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'Emergencies' is about contacting family and friends in the event of a natural disaster, also being able to call emergency services if required.

Hello Grant once again, as always you're on the money with your comments and suggestions. Our landline has actually been very solid for the last 5 years or so since a cable connection on our property was identified and fixed. In the same period I would guess that the Vodafone service has gone down 5 or 6 times for varying periods. Interestingly in our recent weather event, one cable fault took out cellular services of both Spark and Vodafone over a widespread area, and also all internet services, including DSL. I guess that's a rare situation, but worrying all the same because it's when you need them most that they can't be relied on. It's disappointing that the old cut price landline no longer seems to be on offer though.

Our long promised but not delivered RBI upgrade was finally done last December after an unscheduled multiple day outage. I think they got fed up with continuing to repair the old equipment... Speeds are now good with latency 60 - 70 ms. How do you find the VOIP service, as compared with landline? Do you use an ATA box, or SIP phone? And were you able to keep your old phone number?

Thanks all,


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  # 1345008 15-Jul-2015 20:54
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colinuu: '...
How do you find the VOIP service, as compared with landline? Do you use an ATA box, or SIP phone? And were you able to keep your old phone number?

Ultimate have everything you need in a VoIP phone service, as shown here:  Ultimate Phone

As you can see at the bottom, they will port your existing number for $28.50 and can supply the necessary hardware for $79.  I use a separate ATA as per the $79 offer because the SIP phones are a lot more expensive, and the ATA lets you connect into existing house wiring, meaning all jack points around your house can be used as before.

For historical reasons, I have stuck with WxC's VoIP service, but if I was to make the choice now, I would go with Ultimate as they can do everything on one bill.

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