Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Primus Broadband Phone

I was going to be an EARLY-early adopter, but I waited months before diving in. I have Telus Enhanced ADSL, so I thought I might as well get my money's worth and ditch the Telus landline since I can't claim it on my taxes. Also, Telus charges a small fortune for features such as Caller ID, voicemail, Call Forward, etc., that even though I pay for those features in a cheaper bundle, it adds quite a lot onto the total.


1) I can take the phone number with me, just by bringing the gateway router and plugging it into any broadband connection. Anyone who phones me can reach me at the same number, even if I'm overseas;
2) Calls are free between Primus Broadband customers (obviously would need more people on this system for this to be a usable feature);
3) More features available that Telus does not have;
4) Bigger voicemail capacity, messages held on system indefinitely;
5) Cheaper!


1) The word is out whether my broadband connection can handle this much traffic -- I already use it all day for VPN with the office, in conjunction with PCAnywhere to remote control my office computer, plus the regular stuff like e-mail and surfing;
2) No Advanced Call Forwarding, which I use all the time to forward the home phone to my mobile... I often forget to forward the phone, so I usually end up doing it on mass transit or in the car. Now I have to do it from the phone itself using *72;
3) No 411 or 911, the former which I never use and the latter which I hope I'll never use (I have one charger at home and one at the office, and keep the mobile phone on full charge all the time);
4) I'll have to get a better cordless phone, because of all the equipment in this room affecting the line quality (Ross already complained about it today);
5) This is the only phone currently hooked up to the gateway, so it should be cordless, anyway; if I want to hook up another phone, I'll have to use the splitter, which means even more cables/cords... right now I have three power bars full, running from two power points in this part of the room. It's a cable/wire crazy mess.

Right now I'm in the middle of the process called porting, where Telus gives up the line to Primus. At the moment my incoming calls are ringing on the landline, but not on the broadband line. I can make outgoing calls on either the landline or the broadband phones. I thought my intercom wasn't working, but it turns out I forgot I'd turned the ringer off while Matt was staying here. Feeling a bit sheepish about that, since I was totally convinced the intercom was hardwired into all the apartment phone jacks, not routing through the phone company (as it does with new buildings; yay for old buildings in the West End!), then convinced myself otherwise when the courier companies couldn't reach me. When I asked the building manager about it today (before I checked to see if I'd turned off the ringer), she said half the tenants in my 32-storey building don't even have landlines in their suite -- they just use their mobile phones. So, for sure the intercom should work.