Comments inline:

Matt Liotta wrote:

If you keep a single POTS line for faxing, how do you manage the backend? You are going to get the line billed separately from your VoIP provider and you won't be able to share long distance or international across the two. Most customers expect to have their minutes pooled across both their fax and voice lines. Then you have the other problem of 911, which is that your solution is NOT compliant with the FCC's requirements for VoIP carriers. Let's not forget about trying to get the customer's voice and fax DIDs in the same block when they need to be spread across VoIP and POTS.

Perhaps we have a disconnect. I am advocating that the business continue to use ILEC or CLEC lines for their fax services. I'm not managing the backend for the fax lines for the customers that I am talking about. A large business in my area, is 10 or more employees. This is a very rural area, but with many of the same needs as a larger business. Having a separate bill for the fax line is not a big deal to them.

You are right, this solution is not 911 compliant. Neither is service from Nufone, Teliax, Voipjet, Stanaphone or hundreds of other VOIP carriers out there. The question of the degree of 911 compliance is very much up in the air right now because the FCC's requirement is basically unenforceable. Skype is not compliant, and yet there are millions of people on their service. As far as I'm concerned, all of the hoopla around 911 compliance is BS that is out there to scare people out of the voip business and tie up the resources of the people who are in it. The model I put together never touches the PSTN, it is purely data - no different than Skype or MSN messenger with voice enabled or Xbox live with players talking to each other. The distinction of what consitutes "911 capable phone service over IP" has not been made yet and will not be made for some time.

Almost anything worth doing requires a real commitment. If you aren't willing to make a real commitment and the margins aren't that exciting without a commitment then it probably isn't worth the time.


Tying up valuable financial resources into an early stage market like this and expecting to make a large committment without guaranteed revenue possibilities is insanity. Committments also reduce flexibility, and that is a key to the success of the small ISP/WISP operator. If someone comes out with .5 cents a minute or lower termination for low volumes, I will be able to switch my outbound service to that provider with a couple of configuration changes. You are going to be stuck with your committment, and if they can't deliver the same thing you will be out of luck. It's like signing a four year contract for Internet backbone at todays rates. The people who did that in 2003 are now paying twice as much for bandwidth as people who didn't sign long term contracts and maintained their flexibility.

Matt Larsen
WISPA Wireless List:



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