This FAQ has been created and is maintained by members of Broadbandreports and is in no way affiliated with Videotron Ltée. or its corporate members. It only reflects the personnal opinion of its creators. If you are seeking official statements and help, please visit Videtron's website at www.videotron.ca.
What is VoIP?
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) consist of all technologies used to transmit digitalized voice signals over IP packets. This technology has already been serving many companies for many years, and maybe even your own telephone service provider uses this way of communicating without you knowing it. The digitalization of the voice works like recording your own voice on your computer with a microphone in MP3 format. The biggest advantages of VoIP is that it is much cheaper to send voice signals over a secured Internet network than the old method and the consumer at the end can save tremendous amounts of money, especially in long-distance or oversea calls.
The DSLR VoIP FAQ is here: /faq/voip
Vidéotron's VoIP service
Vidéotron offers VoIP telephone services (also called TPC). Upon subscription, you will receive a VoIP cable modem also called MTA (Multimedia Terminal Adapter) to which your local loop is connected. The MTA acts as a bridge between analogic telephony and VoIP by digitalizing the voice of clients and dedigitalizing the voice of the callers so that the hardware (Fax machine, 56K modem) that still uses normal telephone technology will keep working in conjunction with VoIP. The conversations are transmitted through the MTA to Vidéotron's servers, via the HFC network (Hybrid Fiber-Coax) and redirected to the POTS (Plain Old Telephony Stuff) or another Vidéotron's VoIP subscriber. To make sure the quality of sound is at its best, VoIP packets travel with priority in the HFC network which rend them invulnerable to any network jam. That means that when traveling through Vidéotron's network, VoIP packets will also have priority over Internet packets. It's also important to note that VoIP packets never travel through Internet networks but Vidéotron's, and if the person you are calling isn't subscribed to Vidéotron the packets are transmitted through private links and servers to the appropriate central (Bell, Telus, Rogers).
The MAT provides a telephony service that ressembles the other conventional services of other providers. Touchtone telephones, dial-up modems, FAX machines and touchstone alarm systems will work without any problem. Hardware that still use pulse tone are for the moment not supported. 911, 611 and 411 services are also provided , including voicemail and other optional star services.
The local loop is actually all the telephone wiring from the access point to the client's hardware. The access point is a box that acts as the boundary for the end of the wiring under the responsability of the company that offer the service. Any problem that arise after this boundary is under the client's responsability and to his own charge.
Because the VoIP service of Vidéotron requires a MTA, the boundary must be modified or moved. If possible, the technicians will unplug the wires of the company you used to deal with and plug the MTA's wires in to etsablish a connection with the local loop. In the case of the boundary being too far from the MTA, the technicians can install a new one.
The name MTA (Multimedia Terminal Adapter) is actually only a cable modem that supports VoIP technology built with RJ11 ports and high performance batteries used in case of a power failure. The way it works is simple: it records the analogic voice coming from the RJ11 ports to digitalize it and then send it in IP packets through Vidéotron's network and vice versa. This method resembles the way we use to transfert data on the Internet.
The demarcation point
The demarcation point (also called Demarc or access point) is a box that acts as the boundary for the end of the wiring under the responsability of the company that offer the service. It is in reality only a simple box in which all wires coming from the provider and MTA are connected, forming the local loop of the client.
The VoIP gatewat acts as a bridge between the VoIP technology and the conventional telephone servers.
The Central Office (often called CO) is the core of all telephone systems by the intermediary of the switch. It is because of this machine that telephone numbers are assigned, calls correctly redirected and the star functions and services operational. It is also through the switch that the calls are redirected to other companie's switch like Bell, Telus and Rogers.