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# 16341 5-Oct-2007 08:18
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Hi all, my first time here. This is reposted from another forum. I wanted to canvas some more refined opinions :)

So I read a thread about VFX, wet my pants over the excitement and prospect of ditching Telecom, and impulse bought an ATA.

Then I do some further reading , and find that the plans might not be all that cheap?

I mean yes, I get call waiting, call minder, etc. with VFX, but currently I don't pay for those services as I don't feel I need them. Nice to have something for free, but I probably wouldn't pay for any of them no matter how cheap they were.

Are there any further updates on pricing? Orcon have no information on their website as far as I can see. Slingshot I notice have slightly cheaper rates to a country overseas that I might phone. And also free national calling. But I don't trust them as an ISP.

I really hope Xnet pulls through here or I'll really regret it. I'm currently at the point where I'm wondering if I should go back on bended knee and try to return the ATA.

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# 89590 5-Oct-2007 08:28
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Welcome to Geekzone...

I know this will sound strange, but I don't see this as a VFX fault. I mean, you only checked the plans after?

However you haven't explained exactly what you are looking at. For example only voice calls, or broaband plus voice calls?

Remember, if you are using DSL you still have to get line anyway, and this makes things more expensive - but in no way it's VFX's fault.

Look around some of the threads here and you will find out there's a Naked DSL option coming, sometime in the near future, where you will be able to completely separate yourself from Telecom.






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  # 89604 5-Oct-2007 10:39
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Hi and thanks for the welcome and reply.

I'm not blaming anyone else, and it's not too late for me to try and return the ATA if I decided to.

I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear - I'm looking *forward* to the naked DSL option later, not the current setup of line rental plus BB plus VFX (which essentially is free at the moment, as an Xnet HSI customer).

The VFX site has no information about pricing and it took quite a bit of digging to get it. I was naive and thought that I would be paying:

VFX cost of $11.25 + broadband cost of $27-35 = cost per month.

I'm wanting broadband and voice - why do you ask this question? Are there people that will be using BB only and using soft phones, and would *this* be a much cheaper option?

I was under the illusion that getting VFX and broadband would be significantly cheaper than my current Telecom line rental + broadband charges.


 
 
 
 


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  # 89608 5-Oct-2007 10:57
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ahmad:

Hi and thanks for the welcome and reply.

I'm not blaming anyone else, and it's not too late for me to try and return the ATA if I decided to.

I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear - I'm looking *forward* to the naked DSL option later, not the current setup of line rental plus BB plus VFX (which essentially is free at the moment, as an Xnet HSI customer).

The VFX site has no information about pricing and it took quite a bit of digging to get it. I was naive and thought that I would be paying:

VFX cost of $11.25 + broadband cost of $27-35 = cost per month.



No you will be paying a lot more than this. Your existing broadband charges don't factor in line costs so with a ULL circuit since somebody has to pay for that curcuit since you no llonger have a POTS phone.


I'm wanting broadband and voice - why do you ask this question? Are there people that will be using BB only and using soft phones, and would *this* be a much cheaper option?


No it will costs you exactly the same.


I was under the illusion that getting VFX and broadband would be significantly cheaper than my current Telecom line rental + broadband charges.



With the determination costs that were published by the commerce commission for ULL circuits the cost of a naked ADSL circuit and VoIP connection will probably only be a few $ less than the cost of existing broadband + phoneline. Don't blame VFX for this as it's not their problem, if you get rid of your phoneline then the cost of providing that copper circuit to your house has to be paid for.



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  # 89626 5-Oct-2007 12:13
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I'm not blaming VFX as it relates to WxC. I guess I just thought naked DSL was going to greatly reduce the cost of phone and BB (independent of the company providing these services).

From the sounds of things, naked DSL is going to be a huge letdown compared to the hype (as perceived by me).

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  # 89635 5-Oct-2007 12:42
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ahmad: From the sounds of things, naked DSL is going to be a huge letdown compared to the hype (as perceived by me).


If people thought naked ADSL was going to give them broadband and a phone service for next to nothing then it probably will be a letdown and there were plenty of people in the industry who seemed to infer that suddenly everybody would have $9.99 broadband. The reality however is that this was never likely to happen. The costs of a Naked ADSL circuit are pretty much in line with what most people predicted, the only surprise being that there is a difference in cost between metropolitan areas and rural areas which is something I support but many other people don't.




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  # 89637 5-Oct-2007 12:48
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All right, reality check.

So what you are saying is that I'll financially be no better off under naked DSL, given that I don't pay for/use smartphone services that are free with VoIP.

That's a real surprise to be honest, given that for the same cost wouldn't I be better off with a phone connection which I perceive to be more stable/reliable than VoIP lines?

Sorry if this is all just blatantly obvious to people here. I've been caught up in hype and perceived a much better deal than this.

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  # 89639 5-Oct-2007 12:53
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Also keep in mind that ISP's currently make pretty much zip or less on those $30 per month or less broadband plans. They have been doing this for a while to keep market share. Obviously they will need to start making some money soon, so if there is a bit more margin in N-DSL + VoIP bundled service, then yes you are right, it won't be that much cheaper (if at all) compared to basic phone-line + basic broadband plan. If however, you have more than one phone line, or use advanced phone features, then yes you can save some money.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


 
 
 
 


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  # 89643 5-Oct-2007 13:10
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ahmad: All right, reality check.

Sorry if this is all just blatantly obvious to people here. I've been caught up in hype and perceived a much better deal than this.


You aren't the only one who was caught up in the hype.  I too have buyers regret, for buying a $300 ASDL Broadband router that VFX requested me to buy so I could use VOIP.  I figure it'll take about 8 years to get my money back.  Since the issue of quality is an important one, I'll probably sell it, since I have a perfectly fine ASDL BB router that needs rebooting once a month, reliable enough for my needs.

VFX has one major advantage: number portability (and my definition of number portability, not someone else's).  For about $11 a month you can have a number and move around your city and keep your number.  Just sign up with VFX, and activate call forwarding.  You don't actually need a VOIP router for that, but I assumed I'd be saving money here.

Here in Christchurch, you have "moving house number portability" if you are with TelstraClear (about 1/3 of the city) and have a TelstraClear number.  Telecom's exchanges aren't up to the task (unless apparently, you live in the TelstraClear area, in which case Telecom decided to pull out all the stops and allow their customers to have a TelstraClear number with a Telecom line - but this is coming from a Telecom customer representative, so you should assume it is probably wrong).  This is where VFX comes in handy.

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  # 89676 5-Oct-2007 17:40
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I have abandoned VoIP totally (Not VFX)  due to plain expense and the unreliability coupled with it, constant reboots, billing issues, latency, packet loss, bad voice quality etc.

I only recently got a landline again and now I cannot remember how I lived without it, perfect quality voice and it works all the time reliably and also works during a power outage.

I did a blog post on Cheap calling cards, I use Talk+ which is associated to my landline so I just dial the local number and dial from there, Easy as.
I also have unlimited national landline-landline calls for just $20
It's cheaper than any of the VoIP accounts  and the calls are perfect quality.
If you have a Telecom mobile, you can use a "Yabba" card at the standard rates when calling internationally too.




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  # 89683 5-Oct-2007 18:20
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First impressions (my line has been provisioned just tonight).

The Good:
* Everything went smoothly and the router downloaded the settings and self-installed these flawlessly.

The Bad:
* No matter what people say or try to convince themselves of, the call quality IS deteriorated. I don't know if my hearing is sensitive compared to those that participate in surveys, but I am certain that I can always tell VoIP calls from standard calls. I'm not saying that it's unacceptable quality, I'm just saying there IS a noticeable deterioration in quality.
*Only the worst phone in the house worked - one doesn't work at all, while another doesn't make a ring on incoming calls
* I'm very surprised and disappointed that VFX doesn't have a live billing system like iTalk. I would have thought that given the talk about how Xnet take security seriously, that we cannot live monitor our accounts for chargeable calls..

The Ugly:
* Not a lot really. Yet.

The Bottom Line:
* It's good but not great. As I would not use the majority of the smartphone services, I'm unlikely to benefit as much as those that do use them, and also require or desire number portability (as in *mobility*).

I'll use this weekend as a trial and if it's not all smooth sailing I'll probably end up ditching it unless it's confirmed that I would make significant savings (personally) with naked DSL.

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  # 89694 5-Oct-2007 19:40
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ahmad: * No matter what people say or try to convince themselves of, the call quality IS deteriorated. I don't know if my hearing is sensitive compared to those that participate in surveys, but I am certain that I can always tell VoIP calls from standard calls. I'm not saying that it's unacceptable quality, I'm just saying there IS a noticeable deterioration in quality.


If you've bad bad quality over a VoIP connection you've

a) got a bad VoIP provider

b) poor quality equipment or setup

VoIP is the future of telephony. In the not too distant future 100% of NZ's phone calls will be VoIP based once the Telecom NGN is complete. The reality is telling the difference between VoIP and "normal" just isn't possible due to the large (50%+) of existing phone traffic that is already being carried over VoIP and has been for several years. If you're make any international phone calls then chances are they're all carried over VoIP already.








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  # 89698 5-Oct-2007 19:51
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sbiddle:
If you've bad bad quality over a VoIP connection you've

a) got a bad VoIP provider

b) poor quality equipment or setup

VoIP is the future of telephony. In the not too distant future 100% of NZ's phone calls will be VoIP based once the Telecom NGN is complete. The reality is telling the difference between VoIP and "normal" just isn't possible due to the large (50%+) of existing phone traffic that is already being carried over VoIP and has been for several years. If you're make any international phone calls then chances are they're all carried over VoIP already.

I can't be 100% certain as I've never done a "blind test", but I'm 99.9% certain that I can currently tell the difference with VoIP calls.

for example that when I call the iHug, slingshot or Xnet call centres, I'm almost certain that those calls are VoIP. When I phone Telecom's call centre, I believe that the calls are NOT VoIP.

I'm guessing that it's unlikely all three of the above call centres satisfy either a) or b) above.

With regards international calling, I cannot recall the last time I actually made a non-VoIP call (I've been using 0161 and calling cards for years now).

I know there are surveys to say that 80% of people notice no call degradation with VoIP, but I aruge that there definitely IS a noticeable difference, and to me the quality is definitely degraded as opposed to improved.

Again I'm not dissing VoIP. However there are no compelling reasons for me currently to use it - price had been the main attraction but by all accounts the anticipation of significantly cheaper rentals was misguided.

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  # 89704 5-Oct-2007 20:03
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ahmad: for example that when I call the iHug, slingshot or Xnet call centres, I'm almost certain that those calls are VoIP. When I phone Telecom's call centre, I believe that the calls are NOT VoIP.
I heard most of Telecom's internal voice services are carried over VoIP; I've personally seen a fairly large amount of Nortel VoIP handsets being used there.

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  # 89710 5-Oct-2007 20:35
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Hi

I signed up for VFX only because the Linksys router I bought came pre-configured for it.

I was very happy with the call quality but the Linksys ADSL router would not work reliably, resetting about 10 times a day. 

I have bought a Linksys PAP2T and replaced the ADSL router with an old Nokia.  It is now stable and voice quality is fine.

I did, however, ditch VFX in favor of MyNetFone because I don't like being locked into a pre-configured setup.  It meant I couldn't just download router firmware updates, I needed to wait for VFX ones.

I am happy with the current setup and VOIP saves me a stack (90% of my calls are to / from Aussie clients).


DS


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  # 89714 5-Oct-2007 20:41
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You have to remember too that BB in NZ is not as good as other countries and qos can vary at times. I admit that about 99% of the time I have no problems with my VFX service only when my son decides to download some file that it can be a bit hairy in which case I just ask him to pause it for a few minutes. The other thing too is that yes telecom are getting rid of the POTS service and all calls will be VOIP but next year they are going to have dedicated bandwidth to support voip which should eliminate any problems that people are having with any voip service

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