Sunday, 18 March 2012

Back-up VoIP Service Is Imperative

Today, the Canadian based Dell Voice Fongo VoIP calling service was down and out of service for most of the day, due to currently unknown technical problems.  The Fongo.com Forum was flooded with users posting questions about the status of their VoIP service.

On March 1st, 2012 Link2VoIP, also a Canadian VoIP service provider announced (after 9 years of operations) they will be shutting down by May 30th, 2012.  Rising costs and increased competition are among their listed reasons for shutting down.  End of story.

On December 31st, 2011 Voxalot.com, an Australian based VoIP provider (which I have used in years past) shut their doors and pulled the plugs on their VoIP servers due to rising costs of operations.  End of story.

About 5 or 6 years ago, I was testing a new VoIP provider in Vancouver, BC area named ALLO.  I thought it was a reasonably good service.  But, after about 6 months as a customer, they suddenly announced they were closing their doors as a VoIP provider.  End of story.

Gizmo Project (created by Sipphone.com), a competitor of Skype, was bought out by Google (November 2009) after a number of years of operations.  Not too long after Google bought the Gizmo Project, Google closed down the service (around April, 2011).  It was widely anticipated that Google would implement the BYOD SIP VoIP features of Gizmo into their newly released Google Voice service.  But, direct user SIP access has never been implemented into Google Voice, to this day (except on a short trial basis, which was quickly shut down).   I too used Gizmo with their Skype like softphone, on my user configurable softphones, and on my BYOD user configurable ATA's and IP-Phones.  End of story (...perhaps).

The moral of this story:
If you are a VoIP user, and especially if you are a BYOD DIY VoIP user, it is almost imperative that you have one, two, or even 3 alternate back-up VoIP service providers at your disposal.  I do, and always have.  It just makes good sense to have backups, and alternatives quickly at your finger tips.

Consider having multiple BYOD VoIP providers as part of your disaster recovery plan.
I only subscribe to pay-as-you-go services.  This way, there is really no extra costs by having multiple service connections.  I only pay for what I use, with no ongoing monthly costs, except for any DID Phone numbers I purchase.  My outgoing calling is strictly on a pay-per-use case.  So, I can have multiple BYOD VoIP providers for far less than the average person pays on their single PSTN landline or mobile phone line.