My home phone number starting today it has changed. I don’t want to publish it right here on publicly accessible blog, but if you e-mail me, I will immediately let you know.
So what did happen? Since 2004 I was a happy customer of FCI Broadband (Futureway Communications) a GTA’s local communications company. Last June I’ve got a happy letter from Rogers telling me that FCI Broadband is no more, they have bought it. But they claimed that I shall not worry – nothing is changing. Though I knew that “nothing is changing” is not for long, Rogers, like any other monopoly closes competing businesses fast, so that they do not compete with their main offerings. Fast forward to January 15th, 2008 and I got a letter from Rogers this time telling me that I have to switch to their “uber-cool” Rogers Home Phone (basically VoIP phone over cable) and I have to do it within next month or my phone is no more. I knew that this was the time to say “Good Bye” to Rogers. Now I have a VoIP phone from Netfone.ca. All features, free unlimited local calling, etc all for 9.95 + GST (no PST as they are in BC) (and you can transfer your existing phone number if it is in the area of their land-line switch – mine was not).
Voice quality seems to be fine, but now I have flexibility to call from anywhere, where there is a free WiFi using my Nokia N800 and its build-in SIP phone (I’ve tried and it works like charm).
Abandon monopolistic Bell and Rogers, switch to VoIP, there are a few choices in Canada.
http://www.netfone.ca/ (they are my current VoIP provider)
http://www.unlimitel.ca/ (they have an ugly website, but I’ve read they are quite good)
http://www.vbuzzer.com/ (very cheap and very popular in GTA)
http://www.gizmoproject.com/ (international, biggest Skype competitor, but Skype does not offer SkypeIn in Canada, otherwise they would have been my choice)
http://www.primustel.ca/ (a friend of mine is there, like it a lot, but it costs twice as Netfone.ca)
You can also order VoIP from Bell or Rogers, but then you will have to pay same old $40+ CDN + Taxes)
Btw, netfone.ca for GTA is routed through https://www.voipportal.ca/ so it might be the same quality as other providers that use this network.
One more thing.
Right now you can get a FREE 416 VoIP number for Life from http://www.freephoneline.ca only about 300 out of 5000 numbers are left. I’ve got mine, they have a Java based Soft Phone and you need to use computer to call, but hey it is FREE!