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Pacomartin

join:2013-03-18
Bethlehem, PA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE

2 edits

[Phone] RCN Plain Old Telephone Service

I just noticed that RCN is offering plain old telephone service with unlimited nationwide calling for $29.99. Verizon is selling the same service for over $50/month. How did this happen that a cable company can now sell phone service for less than the phone company?

RCN Unlimited Nationwide Calling $29.99/mo
Clear calls on our reliable digital network Unlimited phone calls nationwide Includes 18 free calling features No per-minute long-distance rates Call anywhere in the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada)

Verizon Freedom Essentials ($ 54.99 /month)
Includes unlimited local, regional toll and long distance calling across the U.S. and to Canada and Puerto Rico- PLUS these popular calling features: Voice Mail, Caller ID, and Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, 3-Way Calling and Verizon Call Assistant (where available).


Goodprices

@rcn.com
Great what competition can do. Isn't rcn phone service VoIP so it's technically not POTS.

Dawk2013

join:2013-02-07
Easton, PA
reply to Pacomartin
RCN Cable has a 20 dollar tax for the phone though. I dont think Verizon direct does.


Pacomartin

join:2013-03-18
Bethlehem, PA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
The telephone taxes and fees on my RCN bill are $13.68. I assume those are on the Verizon bill as well.

There is a several decade old Network Interface Device (NID) in a gray box on the outside of my house with a phone line strung over from the nearest utility pole. I can't see any reason to leave it there.

No one (not even the next owner of the house) is going to use the telephone lines at that price. You can get over the air TV channels through cable, a phone, plus 25 Mbs internet, 1 digital converter box, cable modem rental, and wireless router for only $59.99 for first year.

The only advantage that I can see is the Verizon line will remain active in the event of a power outage, whereas the RCN line will only remain active as long as the battery lasts. That advantage is of no practical consequence in my opinion.

toroikr

join:2013-04-20
said by Pacomartin:

The only advantage that I can see is the Verizon line will remain active in the event of a power outage, whereas the RCN line will only remain active as long as the battery lasts. That advantage is of no practical consequence in my opinion.

If that suits you fine in the Lehigh Valley, than so be it. Here in the DC area we get a week long power outage just about every year.


Pacomartin

join:2013-03-18
Bethlehem, PA
Week long power outages every year? That is incredibly bad. Perhaps it would be worth it to have a landline. The phone company strives for
99.999% ("five nines") reliability, equivalent to a maximum downtime of 5.26 minutes per year.


grapkoski
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Washington, DC
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
reply to toroikr
said by toroikr:

said by Pacomartin:

The only advantage that I can see is the Verizon line will remain active in the event of a power outage, whereas the RCN line will only remain active as long as the battery lasts. That advantage is of no practical consequence in my opinion.

If that suits you fine in the Lehigh Valley, than so be it. Here in the DC area we get a week long power outage just about every year.

But Pepco is investing 'billions' in improving reliability or well at least in advertising that they are.... Luckily, I live closer to the District core so our utilities are buried. Honestly, if I lived in anywhere north of R St (where I think above ground utilities start) and/or MoCo - I'd pay an extra 50 cents on my power bill for them to just bury the damn lines.

Anyways, more on topic. In Logan Circle, RCN actually uses the copper infrastructure in some of the older buildings. It tends to cause confusion as their sales team never tells you that you're having two separate install appointments.


artjohn
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Chevy Chase, MD

1 edit
reply to Pacomartin
POTS, aka plain old telephone service, is copper based and powered at the "head end" and afaik has never been offered by RCN which only has digital phone service, at least in the DC area; POTS is being phased out by Verizon, and is no longer available in most areas for new installations. You can only order FIOS for example in my neighborhood.

Both FIOS and RCN telephone are dependent on battery backup in the event of a commercial power failure.

The difference is that VZ FIOS has a battery in every subscriber's home, near the ONT, which generally lasts 8-12 hours, if maintained and in good working order.

RCN on the other hand, has a battery at the hub in the neighborhood, which generally lasts 8-12 hours, if maintained and in good working order.

Of course, if the commercial power is out at your home, no portable phone dependent on a powered base will work--only traditional wired land lines.

One advantage for VZ FIOS is that if you supply your own backup generator to the battery or the ONT, so long as the lines are not cut, your service stays on. With RCN, you are dependent on RCN line crews keeping the battery in neighborhood hub working. RCN in our area generally has been pretty good about that, with a few exceptions. In fact, during Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and the 2012 Derecho, RCN line crews placed a portable gas powered honda generator on top of the hub to keep our neighborhoods phones, tv and internet working (provided you had commercial power or supplied your own backup)

Because Pepco has been so unreliable in our area, we have a generator at our home and so long as RCN keeps up with the battery in the hub, (and the lines aren't cut) we do not loose any services, TV, Phone or Internet simply because of a commercial power failure, even one of long duration.


Pacomartin

join:2013-03-18
Bethlehem, PA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
said by artjohn:

POTS, aka plain old telephone service, is copper based and powered at the "head end" and afaik has never been offered by RCN which only has digital phone service, at least in the DC area; POTS is being phased out by Verizon, and is no longer available in most areas for new installations.

I probably shouldn't have used "plain old telephone service" in my initial post. I should have said "just telephone service" to indicate that it was not bundled with internet or cable TV.

I think POTS is being phased out in my area simply by the price. The only reason I could think of to get it is if you have a huge fear of losing phone service in a power outage. The pricing is hugely in favor of getting a home based cell service that they call "Home Connect".