[LINK] VoIP and internet services

Carl Makin carl at stagecraft.cx
Sat Apr 27 12:21:04 AEST 2019

Hi David,

> On 26 Apr 2019, at 11:14 am, David <dlochrin at key.net.au> wrote:
> This is a little off the usual areas of discussion, but I'd like to hear any recommendations Linkers may have regarding VoIP and internet services.
> I'd like to change my ISP, who currently provides both.  However I'd prefer to trial a VoIP provider first in order to assess their service quality and supported user functions (call diversion, call waiting signal, etc.) before burning my bridges.  The problem is that many or most full ISPs won't offer NBN users a VoIP service without internet access, and that means burning bridges because an ISP "owns" the NBN connection and immediately takes over everything.

I run a separate VoIP provider to my ISP without any problems.  

We’re on NBN FTTN and we won the speed lottery and get 95/35 reliably. Our current ISP is AussieBroadband (https://www.aussiebroadband.com.au <https://www.aussiebroadband.com.au/>) and I have to say they are excellent.  They don’t oversell CVC or backhaul and are in the process of standing up their own international links and re-building their network for greater capacity and growth.  They also participate in Whirlpool and an unofficial Discord server and are running a public IPv6 trial.  Pricing is comparable to slightly higher than, for example, TPG, but the support is local (Morwell Vic actually) and I’ve had no issues with them at all.  They also have just launched an app and website support where you can see your line statistics, kick your session, run basic line tests and speed tests and more.  Definitely recommended.

> There are many VoIP-only providers - see http://voipchoice.com.au/compare-voip-plans-residential/ for example.  Can Linkers offer any recommendations?

We’re been using MyNetFone (https://www.mynetfone.com.au <https://www.mynetfone.com.au/>) for a single dial-in number for years.  Not much to say about it really, it works.  Like many people I suspect the fixed phone is becoming somewhat obsolete and we mainly keep it for the Mother-in-law to call, and it’s the contact number in lots of places that I can’t remember.  Since we make very few outbound calls the cost is quite low.

> A similar problem arises with email accounts.  The sudden burning of bridges means there's no period in which to advise the many organisations which have a user's current address.  I suppose the solution is to acquire one in the .id.au domain, but are there any alternatives?

Many ISPs will let you pay a small fee to maintain an email address or email forwarder.  It might be worth contacting your ISP’s sales area.  

You are not restricted to .id.au <http://id.au/>, you can really use any domain you want.  For example you could use lochrin.info <http://lochrin.info/> (which seems to be available) and has no usage restrictions. Then you could have “david at lochrin.info <mailto:david at lochrin.info>” as your address and give addresses to your family as well.  That’s what I do here with “stagecraft.cx <http://stagecraft.cx/>”.

As for hosting your email, you can either do it yourself on a hosted server, probably running cpanel (cpanel.net <http://cpanel.net/>) with certificates from Lets Encrypt, which is probably the harder way, or you can go to one of the many cloud providers including Microsoft if you are an Office365 subscriber.

> I doubt these issues were forseen when the original FTTP strategy was changed to the current mess.

Probably not, but these issues aren’t really NBN level problems.  Domain names and email accounts are levels above what the NBN was ever meant to provide.  The NBN is really just a pipe to your ISP and they don’t care what you push through that pipe.


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