Re: [telecom] My VoIP phone is dead

Quite some years back, there was an ISP in North Carolina that blocked all of its VOIP ports outgoing [towards the Internet]. It's a foregone conclusion that they were forcing everyone to subscribe to the VOIP service that they provided or do without.

Their subscribers were furious. Apparently, one very bold subscriber made a complaint with the FCC. No, it was not me.

The FCC socked that ISP with a nasty fine and very promptly ordered them to unblock those VOIP ports.

A few days later, they did so. So everyone was then able to subscribe to the VOIP service of their choice.

You might try going that route. But I had a situation where a local phone company was breaking rules about putting foreign listings for subscribers other than their own. I filed a complaint with the state PSC in New Mexico. They did nothing [even though I was successful doing that with NC, SC, and GA PSCs when I lived in those states]. I never got my foreign listing in New Mexico. I always got it in NC, SC, and GA. But I had to make a complaint with the PSC each time. This was because no one in the business office had a clue that this could be done much less knew how to have it done.

So I filed a complaint against Centurylink with the FCC. They sent a complaint to Centurylink. Centurylink sent a reply saying they weren't required to do it [which is not true]. The FCC closed the case without further action. I wrote back to the FCC and protested. But they did nothing.

My point is that today's FCC might not give you the same results that those at the FCC all those years ago gave.

I have gotten issues like yours resolved by contacting the county franchise office [where I then lived] to make a complaint. Usually that worked for me until I moved to New Mexico. The franchise office would not intervene [in Dona Ana county where I then lived]. New Mexico was a very different animal in my humble experience. .

But you might give that a try.

The ultimate solution is to go with a different ISP. That assumes that there is a second one in your area. If all else fails, you could go with satellite Internet.

I do not recommend that approach. Hamshack Hotline (HH) does not work well on satellite Internet. I know that because I spoke to someone in South Carolina [who used satellite Internet] via HH. The quality was terrible. And I remember reading [on the HH Web site] that they will not provide technical support for those who use satellite Internet. Additionally, the time delay can be quite annoying when using geosynchronous satellites.

Regulatory oversight by PSCs are failing today as well. I live in Mesa, Arizona now. Our neighborhood has frequent power outages. After getting nowhere with SRP (Salt River Project (our local power company)), I wrote a letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) (Arizona's equivalent agency that functions as a PSC) documenting the exact dates/times of the outages we had over the last year. Most of them were within the three month period just prior to when I wrote that letter.

The ACC responded by saying that SRP was not under their jurisdiction. They did forward a copy of my letter to the SRP Ombudsman office.

SRP's Ombusdsman responded to me saying they were 'aware of the problem'. They also said that they were replacing power cables in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. They said the project would take two years [before we got any relief]. What a joke.

I email the lady in their Ombudsman's office each time we have a power failure in the neighborhood. For a while, they kept saying that it would be resolved in two years.

However, the last time they said it would take *three* more years.

So for our neighborhood, trying to handle things through regulatory is a complete and total joke.

Regulatory isn't what it once was.

I am very near writing our state politicians to see if they can apply some pressure to SRP.

Rotsa ruck,


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I'll try to get through to one of the regulators without doing a formal complaint: that worked the last time, and I hope it'll work again.

Nor I: the transit time to and from the Clarke belt is just too high for any kind of interactive conversation. As for using a different ISP, my only choice would be an ADSL line from Frontier, my local ILEC, but I don't know what restrictions they place on Internet traffic, so better the frying pan I know than the fire I don't.

Bill Horne

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