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1.2 Signing Up

Test to see if your network connection is right for TalkBroadband at »voiptest.primus.ca

NOTE: A similar test that also provides JITTER results is described here. This is recommended as an additional step in determining if the JITTER on your ISP connection will affect VoIP service.

For either test:

•You can test with two codecs: G.711(high quality) and G.729(lower bandwidth)

•Ensure that your computer is wired directly to your Broadband connection (i.e. do not use a wireless connection at any point).

A wireless connection to the internet will not give a true result since your future VoIP gateway will be wired and enjoy unfettered broadband access. See Using the Gateway with a Wireless Access Point for a further discussion of wireless broadband issues.

•If you are connected to the Internet through a router, ports may be blocked, and the VoIPTest may fail. In this case, verify the results screen to validate if indeed the test failed because "There was a network problem talking to the server". You should rerun the test with complete access to the Internet (i.e. without a router).

•It is preferable to have Java installed on your computer for this test.

•Call Primus TBB Technical Support if you encounter any issues (test fails) or you have further questions.

Some browsers may experience difficulties with this test. For example, Firefox for the Macintosh does not seem to meet the correct Java requirements for this applet to run (although it appears that the latest version running under Tiger does have intermittent success). However, it seems to work fine on Safari without making any changes to the Mac OS Java settings.

by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2005-09-03 14:03:56

As a TalkBroadband customer you are not limited to the local area code of the place you live any more. You can select a TBB Primary Number in any area code that is within a TalkBroadband service area. You can also Port your existing landline number (POTS) to TBB.

For example, you could live in Vancouver or Orangeville and select a Toronto phone number (416 area code). This means that all your calls to Toronto as well as all calls to you from Toronto will be considered local (not long distance).

Correspondingly, even if you are in Vancouver, calls to and from the Toronto based TBB line and a local Vancouver number will incur long distance charges. You can optionally add an Alternate Number in Vancouver that will connect incoming calls to your Toronto TBB line as a local call; where the caller does not incur any long distance charges.

Please note: Primus will not question a request for a number that is not local to your physical address. Their website is clear that only numbers in certain Canadian cities are available as new numbers, or in which your existing number can be ported to Primus (see the linked Primus website for a number migration check tool). Signing up for a number outside of your local exchange will not only affect your ability to dial locally, but will likely affect your ability to receive timely 911 Emergency Services.



Primus has partnered with Allstream (formerly AT&T Canada) to provide telephone numbers and Canadian PSTN access. Local numbers and local number portability (LNP) is, therefore, limited to those exchanges owned by Allstream. If Allstream does not have a Central Office (CO) in a particular exchange, then Primus will not currently be able to provide local calling in that area.

For any given exchange, it is a simple business decision: potential costs (one-time and ongoing) vs. potential revenues (e.g. customers who would sign for the service).

by canoe See Profile edited by Styvas See Profile
last modified: 2005-06-25 02:50:58

At this point there is a limit of two phone lines (Primary TBB Numbers) per TalkBroadband gateway. However, if you need more than two phone numbers to receive incoming phone calls, you may benefit from the Alternate Number service.

Each DLINK Gateway can support up to two telephone lines, with a maximum of 3 telephone numbers pointing to each line. Only one number from each line will be designated as the outbound number.

The following is an example of how this might work:

Line one: 416-555-01234 - in/out displays this #
ALT#1: 780-555-01234 - in only
ALT#2: 604-555-01234 - in only

Line two: 604-555-6789 - in/out displays this #
ALT#1: 780-555-6789 - in only
ALT#2: 416-555-6789 - in only

In the past, system limitations have restricted each line on the same gateway to the same calling plan (e.g., if one line has the Unlimited plan, then the second must also be on the Unlimited plan as well). However, Primus systems have changed and this is no longer required. One line can be on the Unlimited plan and the other on a different plan (or any combination of two TBB plans). For those customers who have not purchased their gateway, the second line will receive a $4 discount to reflect the rental fee already included in the line one plan.

Under business accounts Primus has a 2nd gateway choice called "Audiocode" that will allow up to 4 lines or 8 lines. A Primus representative was fairly sure that the largest they have is a 24 line unit and is fairly certain that up to two ALT#'s can be attached to each line.

by Styvas See Profile
last modified: 2008-03-29 16:07:45

Your TalkBroadBand Starter Kit will arrive within 7 days. You can generally install and start using it in minutes.

•The Starter Kit will sometimes be delivered to you much sooner than 7 days; and your TBB account may not yet have been setup (provisioned) on the Primus servers. In these cases, you need to wait a few days before the account becomes active.

When you do receive a Starter Kit, and your account has been provisioned, follow some IMPORTANT steps in setting up the ATA, as there are issues related to the MAC address, firmware version, and LAN setup. If there are problems, your ATA may not be able to connect to the Primus VoIP server, and you will not have TBB service.

In some cases, even though the ATA is not active, you may still be able to use your TBB service for incoming and outgoing calls via the Remote Phone feature (using another phone line).

•Furthermore, there are delays if you are Transferring/Porting your PSTN telephone number to TBB. This process usually takes 2 weeks as a minimum, but it can be as high as 4-5 weeks. Until the number is fully transferred, you will be able to place calls using TBB, but will not be able to receive calls.


If you have any issues:

•Please see the Troubleshooting Sections (6.0, 6.1) in this FAQ

•Post a question in the MyTBB Portal General Features Forum with detailed info on your ATA, LAN, and ISP configurations.

•Contact Primus TBB Technical Support



by Styvas See Profile edited by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2005-07-08 09:28:57

You can currently transfer/port to TalkBroadband any landline (POTS) phone number within serviceable areas described in »primus.ca/en/residential/talkbro···age.html.

Your number can be ported as a Primary Number or an Alternate Number.

Please note that transferring a number (called Local Number Portability - LNP) from your POTS provider to Primus TBB does not occur overnight.

•This process generally takes a minimum of 2 weeks. Most porting delays are out of Primus' control, and it has been known to take as long as a month or more (i.e. strikes by Telco). Contacting your previous POTS telephone provider (e.g. Telus, Bell, etc.) may help to speed up the transfer, but you'll most likely just have to wait.

During the overlapping period from when you receive and configure your TBB Starter Kit, and when the number is fully ported, you will be receiving/making calls on your old/current POTS line, while ONLY being able to place outgoing calls on TBB.

Note that outgoing calls from your TBB line will have the same number as your original POTS line. Until the day the number is actually ported, incoming calls from non-TBB users will ring your POTS line. However, incoming calls from TBB users will actually ring your new TBB line!

If you feel that a sufficient length of time has passed and are still unable to receive calls, a quick and easy test (to make sure it is the Local Number Portability (LNP) process that's holding up your order) is to have another TalkBroadBand user call you. If you're able to receive a TBB to TBB call, then the problem is most likely the LNP process. If you're not able to receive a TBB to TBB call it could be variety of issues, which at this point a call to TBB Tech Support is warranted.

On the day the number is ported, you will lose incoming service on your POTS line, and it will take a few hours for incoming service to be activated on your TBB line.

When the Port occurs, in most cases, your POTS line will still be active (receiving incoming calls or making outgoing calls) for 3-5 business days. If the POTS line is not "dead" beyond this timeframe, please contact your POTS provider as any charges (local or LD) on this line are still your responsibility!

•Once your TBB service is completely operational (incoming/outgoing calls) including any porting issues, you can always call TBB Customer Support if you feel you would like a credit (half rate) for partial service (outgoing calls only) from the Billing Date to the Porting Date. You will obviously be responsible for any LD charges on a Basic Service Plan.


NOTE: If you do decide to sign up, we can get Primus Residential TBB Online Signup Referral $$ Credits $$ (before clicking, hold your mouse here to get my name & number to enter on the form). You can EMAIL ME to confirm that you have done so!

by Styvas See Profile edited by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2005-09-21 12:30:05

You can now reduce your communication costs by installing DryLoopDSL and Transferring your current phone number to TalkBroadband (TBB).

•Available since April 1st, 2005, in Ontario/Quebec, for Bell customers that request it.
•Available with Telus. Pricing is comparable if you bundle a Cell phone.

Note that Telcos do not advertise this service - and you have to find out about it through FAQs like this one!


DryLoopDSL is standard DSL without the associated phone service (dialtone). Hence, you simply pay for your DSL service and do not pay for a regular PSTN/POTS phone line ($23+). As for regular DSL, there is no battery backup, hence the term "dry loop" - as opposed to "wet loop" when a battery backup phone service is provided.

DryLoopDSL MAY also be offered with a competitor's (Primus, etc) DSL service, but you will have to be query your DSL provider for further information. There is currently a surcharge of about $10 when DryLoop is provided through a Competitive phone company (CLEC: Primus, Sprint). This is to pay the rental fee for the copper wire connection (line) generally owned by the Incumbent phone company (ILEC: Bell, Telus).

The Bell Sympatico DryLoopDSL Service direct number is 1-866-404-5744. You can also ask specifically for the DryLoop Dept through the general Sympatico line at 1-888-590-2375.

NOTE: If you do decide to sign up, we can get Primus Residential TBB Online Signup Referral $$ Credits $$ (before clicking, hold your mouse here to get my name & number to enter on the form). You can EMAIL ME to confirm that you have done so!

Some Details
For EXISTING DSL installations, when you request DryLoopDSL, your POTS (PSTN) number will be disconnected within 3 business days, at no charge. Your POTS number becomes a virtual telephone number that gets assigned as an account number for your DryLoopDSL service. You can no longer make or receive phone calls from this number.

For NEW DryLoopDSL installations (new homes or when moving), there is no installation charge if there are phone jacks already present in your home. There will be a charge if Bell has to install the minimum of one jack in the house - unless you or your contractor does this. A new ten (10) digit phone number will be assigned to use as an account number for DryLoopDSL. This too is a virtual telephone number; you cannot make or receive phone calls from this number.

In all cases, once DryLoopDSL is installed, you only pay your current monthly Sympatico DSL (contract) rate - there are no surcharges, except $10 for DSL-lite users.



SUMMARY: Requesting DryLoopDSL and Porting your POTS number to TBB

There are 2 options to get DryLoopDSL and LocalNumberPorting (I used option 1):


    • Request Primus to port the POTS number to TBB (as a Primary or Alternate #).

    • The day the POTS line goes out of service (OOS), call Bell (on your cell or another phone) to switch your DSL line to DryLoopDSL. The switch to DryDSL is not automatic - although the Bell Technician may "prep" your line in advance.

    This provides less phone service downtime, since POTS service is available until the day Primus takes over - and then after you call Bell for DryLoopDSL, you have to wait 2-3 days until DSL gets restored - and your TBB phone service active.

    In my case, I lost primary TBB phone service for only 6 hours (DSL downtime); although I could not get incoming calls to my Alternate # (old POTS) for 3 days.

    I have to give Bell kudos for this one - a "side-effect" of the process. It turns out that when the POTS # port was done, the Bell Tech did not disconnect my DSL too, but rather put it on DryLoopDSL right away ! So when I called Bell to setup DryLoopDSL, it was already done... they just had to provide me with my new DryLoopDSL virtual 10digit phone number !

    • Request Bell to provide DryLoopDSL first.

    • Once DryLoopDSL is installed, request Primus to port your old POTS number (now the DryLoopDSL virtual number) to TBB.

    In this case, you will have no phone service from the time your DryLoop is activated to the day Primus ports the number ! This can be lengthy - perhaps 2 - 4 weeks.

    Upon a request, it can take 2-3 days for Bell to switch your account to DryLoopDSL. Your phone line will no longer have dial-tone. Once this is done, you can get Primus to Port the DryLoopDSL virtual POTS number to TBB. Bell will assign a new virtual 10digit number to your DryLoopDSL account.


Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Quoting >> Pending feedback: I just called Bell and request for a Dry Loop but they say they can't set one up unless I'm their customer which I'm not (I'm a Primus customer). Called Primus and they say the can't call Bell on my behalf do to privacy law. So I'm getting the round around from both companies. What's going on!!! << end Quote From experience and to provide insight for the individual that wrote the above; to get Dry DSL Loop he/she does not have to be a Bell customer, as for primus not calling Bell do the work (privacy law) ... primus is pouring out the BS. I called my ISP (Velcom) and it was them that setup for bell to do the Dry DSL Loop. The setup fee is sent to my ISP, then the charge $20 plus taxes for this service is applied to my Invoice from Velcom. I was told it takes 4-5 days for the switch of bell to dry loop. Also will mention that I currently am a primus customer using tbb; but, once the year is complete will be disconnecting from primus and switching to Voip with Velcom. If this individual needs more information, he/she is welcome to contact. Flipper69

    2009-09-21 06:10:55 (flipper69 See Profile)

  • I just called Bell and request for a Dry Loop but they say they can't set one up unless I'm their customer which I'm not (I'm a Primus customer). Called Primus and they say the can't call Bell on my behalf do to privacy law. So I'm getting the round around from both companies. What's going on!!!

    2009-07-27 11:40:26



by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2006-04-08 14:09:30

NOTE: You may be interested in DryLoopDSL (aka NakedDSL) and Porting POTS# to TBB to reduce your communications costs.

If you prefer to keep your PSTN/POTS home phone line (Bell, Telus, Primus, etc) along with your TBB line, you may want the option to combine the two lines together.

You can wire separate circuits for the two lines and even Use an active POTS LINE with the DLINK ATA.

Transferring TBB calls to Other Line (PSTN, Cell, Work)


Regardless of this, you may want to forward unanswered calls from TBB to your POTS line. In this case, you can use the TBB Concierge Call Forward or TBB Concierge FMFM features to do so.

Transferring External Line (PSTN, Cell, Work) calls to TBB


Alternatively, you may want to instead forward the POTS line to the TBB line for whatever reason, including using only the TBB VoiceMail system. This can be done with either of the following two options:

    Integrating the PSTN line and TBB - PREFERRED SOLUTION
    You need to setup the little known/advertised MAILBOX INTEGRATION1 Feature with your PSTN line provider. Your PSTN line will ring normally. However, when your PSTN line is BUSY or NOT ANSWERED, this feature will automatically transfer the incoming call to your TBB line.

    It is simpler to use than standard call forwarding, and typically cheaper at $1.33/mth.

    This feature is similar to a cell phone feature called Call Forward Busy/No Answer. Most CELL PHONE plans include this feature (free) so you can also integrate your cell phone with your TBB line.

    Through star codes (i.e. *92, *93,*94,*95 etc), you can control the following:
    - enable and disable each of transfer when busy, or transfer when not answered
    - the number of rings before transferring

    You can set your PSTN line to ring ZERO times and always forward to TBB - and use your PSTN line only for outgoing calls. You can also set it to a non-zero value, but keep in mind that the caller will hear the total number of rings on your PSTN line and TBB line before getting your VoiceMail.

    You can also access your TBB line by simply dialing *98 from your PSTN line. If you setup a FMFM Concierge Task to forward your PSTN number to VoiceMail, then dialing *98 from the PSTN line will put you directly into TBB VoiceMail!

    Forwarding the PSTN line to TBB
    You need to setup the CALL FORWARDING feature with your PSTN line provider. This is a manual feature where you can enable and disable the forwarding to the TBB line (or other phone numbers).

    Your PSTN line rings normally. However, if your forget to disable CALL FORWARDING, you may be wondering why your PSTN line does not ring!

    This feature will incur an extra monthly charge (typically $3.00).


1MAILBOX INTEGRATION has various names with different providers.

•It was previously used when you were on an ISP dialup session, to automatically transfer incoming calls to an ISP service that displayed the CallerID (CLI) on your computer. However, although the CLI component of the service is no longer offered (for various competitive and technical reasons), the Call Fwd Busy/No Answer component is still available in most cases.

•It is NOT "Integrated Message Centre", which combines a landline with a cell phone voicemail.

by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2006-06-12 12:42:27

TBB lets you choose a Primary telephone number in any of the coverage areas. This is the number assigned to your TBB line.

In addition, TBB allows you to have up to two additional phone numbers attached to your Primary TBB line. An Alternate Number can be selected from any of the coverage areas for a small additional charge for each such number (flat fee of $4.00/ month).

•Alternate Numbers are only INCOMING TOLL-FREE numbers for callers in the area code of the alternate number. You pay the monthly flat fee so that people who can make a local call to your Alternate Number, can call (or fax) your Primary TBB number for free.

•Alternate Numbers also have a Distinctive Ring that is different from the Primary Number ring, to help you determine that the incoming call is from an Alternate Number.

•Alternate Numbers are not listed within their corresponding WhitePages' Telephone Directories. For example, an Ottawa Alternate number cannot be listed in the Ottawa White Pages with a Winnipeg address !

•For OUTGOING calls, you only have one number - your TBB Primary number. All outgoing calls from a TBB line will show the CallerID and Name of your Primary TBB number. You cannot make a call (or fax) from an Alternate Number.

•ALL outgoing calls from your TBB line to the area code of your Alternate Number(s) will be billed as long distance (assuming your Primary number and Alternate Number(s) are in different cities).

For example, you may have a Primary TBB line in Ottawa, and two alternate numbers, one in Vancouver and another in Halifax. Callers in Vancouver and Halifax can call (or fax) your Primary TBB Ottawa number Toll Free through your respective Alternate Number in their city - as long as the call to the alternate number exchange itself is a local call for them.

by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2005-09-09 07:52:47

There are no plans currently to provide US and International Alternate Numbers.

by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2005-05-21 13:34:33

The Primary TBB number is listed in phone books and electronic directories for some subscribers; subject to the Primary Number being in the same WhitesPages geographical area as the house/account address.

If your address is not located in the same WhitePages area as your Primary Number, then you will not be listed in either the Primary Number's area code WhitePages or your local WhitePages.

It is also possible to have an Unlisted Number with your Primus TalkBroadband service for an additional $1.25 per month. An Unlisted Number is never listed in the WhitePages (hardcopy or electronic).

NOTE: •Alternate Numbers are never listed.
•Some subscribers have never had their TBB number listed anywhere - for an unknown reason.


by Styvas See Profile
last modified: 2008-03-25 09:48:01

If you change your primary TBB number or change an alternate number to primary status, there is a $55 fee. In some cases this fee can be waived.

Primus has the following to say regarding the $55 charge and the potential for having that charge waived.

When you change your number, there is always some work involved. Not too much, but there is some. Therefore carriers, like Primus or Bell, are by default charging for this. The purpose of such charge is to discourage people from changing their numbers on a whim (eg. someone who is constantly travelling and flipping main and alternate numbers, or just for the fun of it).

That being said, there are situations when a number change is not "on a whim" and associates have the right to waive this charge, if informed and asked by the customer (this is what "by-default" means - you need to explain your situation and ask to waive the fee):

    •Customer is receiving harassment calls and the police are involved.•Customer first got a new number to try the service, likes it, and now wants to port his/her main number to TalkBroadband.•Moving.
Again, the reason of this charge is not to get an extra $55 from you, it is to discourage abuse.



by Styvas See Profile
last modified: 2007-02-04 03:06:31

Residential TBB has a monthly term contract as stipulated in the TALKBROADBAND TERMS AND CONDITIONS (Section #2) »primus.ca/en/residential/talkbro···gal.html

2. Term and Termination. Service is offered on a month-to-month basis, for a term which begins on the date that PRIMUS activates your Service and ends on the day before the same date in the following month. Any subsequent terms renew automatically on a monthly basis unless You give PRIMUS written notice of non-renewal at least thirty (30) days before the end of the monthly term in which the notice is given.

As part of an Online signup bonus offer, you may have received a cordless phone or AirMiles.
•If you cancel in less than 90 days, you will be charged $50 (+taxes) for the cordless phone.
•AirMiles are paid in installments: month 2, 4, 6 and 12. Depending on the month you cancel, you will not receive any remaining bonus AirMiles.

Please do not confuse other Primus webpages which refer to pricing and terms for other Primus products such as HOME PHONE SERVICE or BUSINESS TBB SERVICE.

by canoe See Profile
last modified: 2005-05-25 14:24:48

You can contact Primus Customer Service and Tech Support to resolve most issues immediately, or within a day. However, please keep in mind that some issues take time to resolve (at least a business day, if not three or more); and you may be provided a ticket# to track it on future calls.

For unresolved issues, it is suggested to call no more than once per day to get a status update on an issue or ticket number. Multiple daily calls will usually only provide the same information, in addition to reducing service as a whole to other subscribers - since someone is dealing often with you. You may also be requested to refrain from calling continuously for the same issue.

When you do not need an immediate answer, or for simple queries and non-emergency issues, it would be preferable to contact Primus via email where you can provide more details effectively.

WHEN YOUR TBB SERVICE IS DOWN: You can use email, the Portal Chat Service, Toll Free numbers or Remote Phone from another Regular or VoIP line, as listed below.

Skype.com can also be used to call the Toll-Free numbers provided below; currently provided free of charge.



By Email:
Customer Service customer.care@primustel.ca
Technical Support support@primustel.ca

Depending on your request, you may get an answer back very quickly, or you may have to wait a few days for a response.

By Phone:
From your TalkBroadband line dial '611', and follow the prompts carefully. Sometimes a selection is provided for "Primus Service and Accounts" and a later selection is provided for "Internet and TalkBroadBand". The former selection generally refers to Primus Home Phone Service (POTS), and if you select this, you may have to wait only to be transferred to the correct TBB queue, thus increasing your total wait time! Please note that reference to "Residential Service" is in regards to non-business accounts and not to the Primus Home Phone product.

Toll-Free access:
Sales 1-800-830-5511

Customer Service 1-800-806-3273

Technical Support 1-800-370-0015

Please note that the Customer Service and Tech Support phone lines are generally extremely busy from 17:00 - 22:00 (Eastern Time). Try calling outside these hours to minimize your hold times.

Via Remote Phone:
Once you access your TBB line via Remote Phone Local Access Numbers, you can simply dial '611', and follow the prompts as above.

Via the TBB Portal:
Log into your account at https://mytbb.primus.ca/login.php and click on the 'Forum' tab. Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, and Technical Support staff monitor posts on the forum and can often assist subscribers for some issues presented.

By Mail:
5343 Dundas Street West
Suite 400
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9B 6K5

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR PRIMUS TALK BROADBAND: 1877-814-2375

    2014-06-24 14:59:21 (78810797 See Profile)

  • What A mess up! I have now tried several times to access my account details,and I cannot arrive at a correct log on page. I have a home phone account with PRIMUS but keep getting Planet talk,or Home choices which I cannot link to Primus Accounts Page.

    2010-10-28 08:27:21



by canoe See Profile edited by Styvas See Profile
last modified: 2010-09-18 10:53:35