[lug] Inexpensive no-ring, voicemail only phone number?

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Tue Dec 22 16:41:49 MST 2009

We use a 500 minute a month (cheapest they have) Vonage line for this. 
You can either plunk the Vonage adapter down at someone's house where
they have broadband and will answer it, or just have it e-mail you voice
mail messages in WAV format by setting the settings for that.

Our group's Vonage adapter is fed via a wireless ISP up on top of a
mountain and doubles as our "DTMF remote control" line for a bunch of
equipment, and we just answer the voice mails from e-mail alerts... 

Runs a little over $20/month with taxes.  (Don't believe the $14.99
thing - your Government has seen fit to tack on a pile of taxes that no
one knows where the money really goes, on every phone line.  Not
Vonage's fault... mostly just because we're all lazy Citizens and let
them get away with it.  E911 is well-paid-for at this point, and the
isanity of paying for "Rural Broadband" for places where there ARE NO
PEOPLE is ripe for abuse... 

(Such as the guy who put teleconferencing equipment in a shelter near
railroad tracks in Iowa, got paid by both the State and Federal
government for bringing "high-tech" to a small town that just happened
to be on a Tier-1 fiber route, and hired three staff people to man the
cheapest office you've ever seen.)

Sorry, got off on a rant there.  Vonage or Packet8, or any of those
services work great for a small non-profit.  You can always port the
phone number away from them if you ever grow and need to move to
something more complex.

  Nate Duehr
  nate at natetech.com

On Tue, 22 Dec 2009 13:54 -0700, "Ryan Kirkpatrick" <linux at rkirkpat.net>
> I am on the board of a local non-profit[0], and we need a phone number.
> We
> are small enough that we don't have an office, we just operate out one of
> our sponsor churches. They provided us with a phone number that went
> straight to a voice-mail for a while, but thanks to a phone system
> upgrade
> they can't do that any more.
> I called and asked Qwest, but they want $36/month + usage for such a
> setup. Now I know I could setup an Asterisk system and do this in my
> basement, and I probably will eventually do so, but in the short term I
> wonder if there were other options that were cheaper than Qwest? 
> We don't need anything fancy, just a local Boulder number that goes
> straight to voice-mail that we can call in and check. Now, I know there
> are
> a number of companies on the web that offer something along these lines,
> but there is no way to tell if they are reputable or not just from their
> websites. Even the review sites don't look trustworthy. :(
> So, anyone have any recommendations for inexpensive, voice-mail only,
> phone
> service? Thanks!
> [0] http://lambsministry.org/, and it is hosted in my basement. :)
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> |   "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."                   
> |
> |                                            --- Philippians 1:21 (KJV)  
> |
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> |   Ryan Kirkpatrick  |  Boulder, Colorado  |  http://www.rkirkpat.net/  
> |
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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