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Re: Apartment buildings: Why don't they convert to VOIP?

Yes, there is the potential liability issue, but there are also other considerations. For example, in some states (maybe all of them) you'd have to register with the state as a telephone company and pay various taxes and fees. But the biggest problem is that most apartment owners and tenants gave no idea of what VoIP is, and many of them (particularly the older ones that still want or need landline-type service) would be resistant to change. One thing I have discovered in life is that you can talk until you are blue in the face about how changing the way someone does things would benefit them (financially or otherwise) but if it's not what they are used to they won't even hear of it. You'd have about as much luck getting them to change their religion as you would in convincing them that VoIP is a good thing.

Also keep in mind that some apartment owners have sweetheart deals with the local phone company. I have a friend that lives in an apartment complex for senior citizens and he would love to get high speed broadband from the local cable company, but he can only get crappy DSL service (and Dish Network for his TV service) - somehow the local cable company has been completely locked out of the building, and this is a fairly new building (I'd guess built in the late '90's). Worse yet was that when he was considering moving in they lied to him about being able to get cable internet and he didn't find out the truth until after he'd signed the papers and moved in (and of course had no way to prove what they had told him verbally). He's halfway through a one-year lease and when that runs out he's packing up and moving on (or so he says) but I'm sure they will find someone else to take his place, and if it's some old guy that's never used anything more modern than a typewriter he probably won't care anyway.

If I were running an apartment, I'd put in an Asterisk box to route my door/gate phones through, and maybe at least give tenants apartment-to-apartment calling and maybe the option to get service from one or more commercial VoIP providers, but that's just me. Most apartment owners would have no idea what you are talking about.