Jean wants to dump her AT&T phone service and use VOIP with the internet via Ooma. Leo says she can, but she'll be giving up precise 911 service. So if she has a cell phone, she can call 911. But that will be a regional e911 service, which will slow down response times. Ooma does offer 911 service to her registered address, but she'll have to pay for it, and if the power goes out, she'll lose her phone too. So its a mixed bag.
Richard bought into T-Mobile's At Home VOiP service and now it's been discontinued. He's looking at Ooma now. Leo says that Ooma has a lot of users and they are very happy with it. So it's less likely it's going to go out of business. The downside, though, is that in the event of a natural disaster or power outage, he'll lose his phone because the internet is down. He'll have a cellphone, though. So Ooma is a solid alternative.
Rick wants to know if there's a call blocker for a landline phone. 95% of the calls he gets are Robocalls. He uses Ooma and they want $120 a year to block calls, so he wants to know if there's a good hardware based option. Leo says that most of the services he sees are generally White listers.
Jean doesn't have a cell phone and she's decided to move from a landline to VOIP with Ooma. She doesn't know how to set it up, though. Leo says as long as she has internet access, it should work fine. When she connected it to her modem, everything shut down. Leo says she should keep her landline for emergencies because VOIP doesn't have 911 service. So she should keep the least expensive landline called "lifeline service." During a power outage, it will still work.
Lane is looking for a good voice over IP (VOiP) phone option. Leo says that Ooma and 8x8 are good because they are rather invisible and he can use regular phones to make calls. To use his mobile phone with it, he'll need a SIP app (session initiation protocol), but they require a SIP provider. There's a company called Obihai which provides the SIP access. Ooma has built up enough of a network so that it's more affordable and a good choice.
Steve is considering the Ooma VOIP phone service, but he's concerned about net neutrality and how it will affect him. Leo says that's what's happening in Canada right now as the ISPs who also offer phone service, are buffering or flat out dropping Skype calls to frustrate that. It's very anti-competitive. What Leo suggests is that before Steve buy Ooma, that he should spend time using Skype so he can gauge how voice over IP works. There are some drawbacks.
Gary says that Ooma has a Wi-Fi adapter and wants to know if he could install it for his mother in assisted living with their Wi-Fi. Leo says that the Wi-Fi in the complex may be unreliable or just plain slow. So while the technology may be ideal, the network they're using is probably not going to handle it.
Christine is looking at getting the Magic Jack. Leo says that Magic Jack gives the user access to phone calls via voice over internet protocol (VOIP). It's great because it can go wherever she is. The downside is that 911 doesn't know where she is in case of an emergency. Leo still recommends a land line just in case.
Mike can buy a new modem and avoid the monthly charge from Time Warner. He can get a Motorola SB6141 modem from Amazon for about $80, but he's also having to pay for his phone service through Time Warner. He's thinking about using Ooma instead, but he currently has 7 items on his phone line, and he's wondering Ooma will be able to handle the REN, or Ringer Equivalency Number. Leo says it will do that, but the main issue is e-911. VOIP won't give him regional 911 (E911), it gives him statewide 911, which usually routes to the State police.