dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
6912
share rss forum feed

nine9s2

join:2005-02-09
Richmond, TX

Is Comcast's ip telephone service reliable?

I am thinking of getting Comcast triple play. How reliable is their IP telephone service? I have an elderly person, in my home, who needs emergency care every now and then, so phone reliability is very important to me.

Is it rock solid, or is it down or does it have problem occasionally?


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
if you need a phone for medical purposes, keep a POTS line..../thread
--
I'm better than you!


CajunTek
Insane Cajun
Premium,MVM
join:2003-08-08
Arlington, TX
said by gar187er:

if you need a phone for medical purposes, keep a POTS line..../thread

Not suggesting the OP get Comcast's phone service, but I would never reccomend a POTS line to anyone.
--
da Cajun Darn I hate Malware


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to nine9s2
said by nine9s2:

I am thinking of getting Comcast triple play. How reliable is their IP telephone service? I have an elderly person, in my home, who needs emergency care every now and then, so phone reliability is very important to me.

Is it rock solid, or is it down or does it have problem occasionally?

If you need to be sure to be able to make calls, the best suggestion is TWO methods - wired or viop as one, and cell as backup.

Comcast VIOP is reliable. Maybe not quite POTS. You could get voip + lifeline POTS in the elderly person's name.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
said by JohnInSJ:

Comcast VIOP is reliable. Maybe not quite POTS...

That really depends on the area in which you live, and the identity of the ILEC.

I have not had a POTS line for voice service since ~2004, primarily because it was not reliable. Even when I had a shared voice/DSL service, the voice service (POTS) was down much more often than the DSL service, and it often took several days (or even weeks) to get it restored. I got my first VoIP service after the last time that my business POTS line was down for over two weeks (fortunately, I had remote access to its call forwarding controls).
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
reply to nine9s2
I would say you are good with CDV. The difference in reliability between CDV and POTs would line mainly in power outage situations. If you have power outages often, then Id stick with POTs.

With CDV there is often an internet bundle and TV etc. So out of the three services there is usually one of them going on all day long. You know when it blips, when it hiccups, when a tech might be changing out some equipment on the plant for a 10 min interval.. you dont get that with POTs.
POTs doesnt have an EMTA with blinking lights that people love to stare at or Speed Tests that people love to run ALL DAY LONG.

You only know when you pick up the phone, its there.

Ive had CDV since it came out. Ive only been down during power outages. And usually just because I have satellite phones..
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"


jkj860
The Final Frontier

join:2002-01-10
Valparaiso, IN
reply to nine9s2
It has been solid for me also. I have had it for a few years with no problems. I would definately keep a back up though "just in case" for your situation.
--
I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant. Nixon

nine9s2

join:2005-02-09
Richmond, TX
reply to nine9s2
Also, if it makes any difference, all the Comcast will be brand new I assume. This is brand new service for an existing subdivision. Comcast's fiber is in the area, and they serve an adjacent subdivison already but they will have to put brand new fiber drop boxes/cable converters and cable to get to me.

I assume that will make it extremely reliable service overall having completely new infrastructure.

Is my assumption correct on that or will that not really make any difference?


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12

1 recommendation

It makes a significant difference. No failing UG cables that only act up every now and then which are extremely hard to track. No 20 year old drops causing noise and such. As long as the local crew keeps things tight and looked after, your good to go.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"


jkj860
The Final Frontier

join:2002-01-10
Valparaiso, IN
reply to nine9s2
I can only tell you that when my neighborhood upgraded to HSI/CDV a few years ago, they ran all new lines all over the place. They were trenching new conduits throughout the subdivision and pulling new cable to every pedestal. Even down the county roads. It seemed to be a major overhaul of their lines. My internet/video/ and voice have been rock solid since.
--
I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant. Nixon

nine9s2

join:2005-02-09
Richmond, TX
said by jkj860:

I can only tell you that when my neighborhood upgraded to HSI/CDV a few years ago, they ran all new lines all over the place. They were trenching new conduits throughout the subdivision and pulling new cable to every pedestal. Even down the county roads. It seemed to be a major overhaul of their lines. My internet/video/ and voice have been rock solid since.

Yeah that is how they did the adjacent subdivision several years ago. They ran all that through my neighbor's ditches (I was mad that they dug up our ditches to get to the other subdivision.) I assume they will do that (all new cable runs and trenches) to get to me because there is none here right now - they are starting from scratch with my subdivision - or using stuff they laid 5 years ago to the other place at the worst.)

I am going to go talk to someone in that subdivision tomorrow to see if they have Comcast and see how it is, if so.

GusHerb94

join:2011-11-04
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
reply to nine9s2
I would suggest POTS unless your neighborhood is known to have poor infrastructure. Where I live has a pretty solid copper infrastructure and I wouldn't have anything but POTS as the primary line (hasn't gone down in more then 5 years)
Where our business is has a terrible copper infrastructure and so far 3 lines on CDV is looking to be more reliable then POTS ever was over there.


jkj860
The Final Frontier

join:2002-01-10
Valparaiso, IN
reply to nine9s2
They used a machine that only makes a hole in the ground and it feeds underground . Not sure what its called but there was minimal disruption to the landscape.
--
I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant. Nixon


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
Directional Bore.

JJV
Premium
join:2001-04-25
Seattle, WA
reply to nine9s2
I get up around 2am for work. I like to have my coffee and check out the net.
I notice my internet and phone connection goes dead during these hours pretty often. Its likely maintenance by Comcast.
A pots line still rules for reliability.

nine9s2

join:2005-02-09
Richmond, TX
said by JJV:

I get up around 2am for work. I like to have my coffee and check out the net.
I notice my internet and phone connection goes dead during these hours pretty often. Its likely maintenance by Comcast.

That happens daily? So internet is not reliable at all hours?


NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

3 edits
said by nine9s2:

said by JJV:

I get up around 2am for work. I like to have my coffee and check out the net.
I notice my internet and phone connection goes dead during these hours pretty often. Its likely maintenance by Comcast.

That happens daily? So internet is not reliable at all hours?

Comcast will usually schedule maintenance that might require disconnecting multiple users for the wee hours of the morning. In the year since I started using Comcast that has happened to my connection perhaps 4 or 5 times, and the outage was usually for only a couple of minutes. I have in the past noticed similar early morning short disconnects with DSL service as well (and as I previously posted, POTS reliability in this area is an oxymoron). The most reliable telephone service I have is a cell phone (and even there, I have had 5 or 6 tower outages here in the past several years). If you need an absolutely reliable telephone connection, you will need to use two different services that use different technology. VoIP + Cellular, VoIP + POTS, or POTS + Cellular. A battery operated CB radio on the emergency channel might also be a candidate for an emergency backup "phone" if your local 911 call center monitors the CB emergency channel.

Currently, I use Vonage VoIP over my Comcast connection, and AT&T cellphones (with a zBoost repeater with an external antenna), and I use a GE DECT phone system that allows the DECT handsets to function as multi-line phones that can use the VoIP connection or either of two cell phones (via a Bluetooth connection).
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

raythompsontn

join:2001-01-11
Oliver Springs, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast
It still amazes me the number of people that worry about phone service with VOIP from Comcast (or any other) during a power outage. These same people only have cordless phones in their house. Here is a news flash. If the power is out and all you have is a cordless phone POTS or VOIP are both unusable during a power outage.

Comcast VOIP is as reliable as POTS in almost all but the extreme cases. Remember that many people only have VOIP and that is their link to E-911 service. The service has to be reliable and the franchising authorities and the server provider know it. Even cell is not as reliable because during major events getting through on a cell phone is problematic.

voipnpots

join:2011-10-13
USA
reply to nine9s2
Me (and my family) had AT&T POTS before switching to Comcast.

Traditionally, when the power goes out, POTS is supposed to work. That has not been our experience - when we were hit by a hurricane, for example, the phone went dead, which shows it is not as reliable as it's thought to be. I have had very occasional outages with Comcast, but it's only been that - occasional. Usually, my telephone uptime per month is 100% (modem never reset in 30+ days), but there are few times where our service has gone out, and when it goes out, usually everything goes out (TV, phone, and internet), but only for a minute or two (only once in the last two years has it been out for hours).

The outages, however, have been more frequent than POTS outages. So, overall, POTS and DSL internet from AT&T have been more reliable. But, that does not mean the phone will work in a power outage. Based on my experience - when the power goes out, I would feel safer with the battery backup on my eMTA than a POTS line which supposedly should work with no power, but didn't for me.

If it were me, I would switch, because the benefit I get from more advanced technology would outweigh the very occasional reliability issues.

As NetFixer said, it really depends on the area.

Edit: As raythomsontn said, you must have a traditional corded phone hooked up directly to the land line in order for POTS to function during a power outage. I still have a corded phone hooked onto the wall from when I had POTS, and I remember that phone NOT working during a power outage...

nine9s2

join:2005-02-09
Richmond, TX
said by voipnpots:

The outages, however, have been more frequent than POTS outages. So, overall, POTS and DSL internet from AT&T have been more reliable.

So you do experience random loss of service with Comcast? This concerns me becaue if I get COmcast it is because AT&T's Uverse does this fro me. When it goes out, it is only for 30 seconds or so, but if on phone, you lose the connection/conversation, if doing something on internet, like playing online games or downloading, you lose that, watching TV or recording a program, it gets messed-up, etc. So while only 30 seconds, of outage, it disrupts services if using anything as it happens.

So there is a fair chance, I will see this type of problem on Comcast also? And as I posted above, it will be a brand new build for Comcast, so all fresh last mile infrastructure will be put into place for my service. Is there still a good chance, with all that new equipment, I will have daily or weekly random loss of service? Or being new, should that be rock solid 24/7 service (allowing for periodic maintenance of course)?

Sorry for all the questions, but I hate to switch from AT&T only to have the exact same issues with Comcast, especially since AT&T seems closer to solving my problem currently, so I want to learn if there is a fair chance of it happening to me with Comcast and the above posts seem to imply that.


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
said by nine9s2:

Sorry for all the questions, but I hate to switch from AT&T only to have the exact same issues with Comcast, especially since AT&T seems closer to solving my problem currently, so I want to learn if there is a fair chance of it happening to me with Comcast and the above posts seem to imply that.

There's no way to say - it depends on your area.
I have rotten copper here (10K run to the CO over 75 year old lines. Fun) and newer coax (comcast did the major upgrade for our area a few years ago)

I don't use comcast, I use phonepower voip. PP has had two outages in the past 18 months, lasting a few minuets total. My comcast business class has been rock solid except for a period of a couple weeks when I had line/modem issues - which of course impacted the voip. If you go with comcast digital voice you'll still have issues with your phone if there are comcast service problems, but those should be no worse than major issues that would take out your phone service if it were on POTS anyway.

I still say get two ways to call out, and you'll be fine. Cell + pots | voip | comcast phone should be plenty safe. If something bad enough to take out both of them happens, you have bigger problems than not being able to make a call.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us

voipnpots

join:2011-10-13
USA

1 edit
reply to nine9s2
If you are with U-verse, you are not on POTS - you are on a Comcast-style "digital" VOIP phone service. As for my service interruptions/outages, it is very infrequent, and the service is usually solid most of the time (minus a small outage here and there on some days).

If it is a new infrastructure, I would assume it would be generally solid. It is highly dependent on the area, however. I have seen situations where Comcast in certain areas is terrible (packet loss on internet, outages, etc.).

If you'd like, you can read my review of Comcast by clicking "Comcast" under my username.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

1 edit
reply to nine9s2
The only way to get accurate reliability information is to check with a neighbor that uses Comcast VoIP service to find out how reliable it is. VoIP is normally only as reliable as the other services delivered on Comcast's cable. We lose cable service about once a month, anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Occasionally we might lose Television Channels while Broadband still works. Most of the time when we lose broadband or TV when we lose the other service.

Edit: I forgot to mention you might want to contact your county government and find out who maintains the database for the Public Service Access Positions (PSAP) for 911 emergency service. That is where the E911 attendants sit. You should determine if you use Comcast VoIP that your address will be properly displayed on the PSAP and the appropriate emergency service providers will be directed to your home when you dial 911 and ask for assistance in an emergency.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to voipnpots
Whether you can keep POTS with AT&T U-verse service may depend on how AT&T implemented it in your area:

From: »Keep POTS line, get U-Verse for internet only?

Some quotes from that thread:

"With Uverse VDSL, I thought everything came from the VRAD (which has no POTS circuit connectivity), and they either can not or do not practice combining packet switched POTS service on the same pair of wires carrying VDSL/U-Verse."

"Yes, you can retain your analog wire line phone service. I did when I signed up for U-Verse. Seemed like a good idea and then the installer told me that, sometimes, U-Verse phone (VOIP) didn't always play nicely with alarm systems."

voipnpots

join:2011-10-13
USA
I believe nine9s2 has the U-verse VOIP service because he/she mentioned that when service goes out, everything goes out, which leads me to believe it is all IP. Also, if you keep POTS with U-verse, is it called "U-verse"?

tacitus

join:2005-08-23
Ellicott City, MD
reply to nine9s2
Lets put it this way - my comcast cable and internet goes out about every one or two years - last time it was for a few days, but usually for a day. The POTS copper has never gone out for almost 25 years or at least I never noticed. "knock on wood" If your POTS is reliable I would not mess with a good thing.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to voipnpots
Yes, if nine9s2's home is in a relatively new development, it may be served by a new U-verse system without POTS availability. For other areas, legacy POTS may still be active.

Asking if using POTS with AT&T VDSL internet service can be called "U-verse" may be like asking if you only get cable TV from Comcast can it be called "Xfinity" TV.

nine9s2

join:2005-02-09
Richmond, TX
reply to nine9s2
Sorry for being confusing - let me clear some of this up:

I currently have UVerse triple play (the phone part is VoIP.) The phone is big consideration and I will probably order Comcast initially with just TV and internet, possibly even just internet to try first and get TV and possibly phone later. Also, I am a guy.

I always thought cable was superior internet but after finally looking into, I am getting scared away somewhat because many here say it might go out daily in some cases, in which case it would be worse than my Uverse currently. So I might just try internet at first, so I have less invested if it is bad and less that would have to be changed in my home. Then if good, I'll get the other services.

ALso, I think the newer subdivision behind me has Comcast, and I assume that would be an apples to apples comparison probably fed of same main line and my neighborhood will need all new last mile stuff from it, so my field equipment will actually be newer I assume.

Opinions?

voipnpots

join:2011-10-13
USA
I think that's a good plan. Then, you will be able to judge the reliability of Comcast services in your area by using just one service for a little bit. If one service from Comcast is reliable (TV, phone, or internet), you can probably assume the other services will be just as reliable.

Also, for the internet portion, you may have to/want to buy your own router. Also, should you decide to eventually get phone service, you will need an eMTA (for both internet and phone), which they will charge you for monthly (usually $7) unless you buy your own.

Someone else may want to chime in for opinions on this.


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23
reply to nine9s2
I gave up a reliable POTS line (worked w/o electricity because I have a couple of non-cordless phones around). I gave it up for the obvious added benefits of CDV.

In my area, we have really reliable and well performing cable. Tech support is top notch when it (very rarely) is needed. I have no complaints about CDV and I like the many features included in the price which would have needed to be added one by one, each at an added cost, on the POTS line.

If/when I need to make a call when electricity/cable is out, I keep my cell phone charged. I keep batteries on several UPS units (used for computers when electricity/cable is up) charged as well and, in a long power outage, I can recharge cell phones via the UPS units.

I agree with the others who have said, performance and satisfaction does vary from area to area. If you are considering this switch, do your homework in your neighborhood.
--
Join Team Helix * I am praying for these friends .