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Home Phone Service Overview | Allconnect

Home Phone Service Overview



Traditional Home Phone Service

On February 14, 1876, two inventors both independently designed devices that could electrically transmit speech -the telephone. Both reached the patent office within hours of each other. Alexander Graham Bell was the 5th patent logged on that day. Elisha Gray was the 39th. The rest is history. In today’s world, telephones are very common in households. There are many technologies and services available.

Allconnect partners with three different types of traditional phone companies:

Traditional Phones offer three calling types: Local Calling, Local Toll Calling, and Long Distance.

Your Local Phone Service offers Phone Number Assignment, Directory Listing Options, Additional Listing Options, Common Calling Features, and Advanced Calling Features. There are four Advanced Calling Features:



VOIP Service Providers

VOIP stands for "Voice Over Internet Protocol". VOIP is also known as digital phone service or Internet phone service, and most people use these terms interchangeably.There are a wide range of options, and many Internet service providers now offer their own VOIP calling plans as part of a subscription packages. Your budget and calling needs will help you decide which setup might work best for you.

Equipment Needed for VOIP:

  • Phone
  • Adapter/Router
  • High-Speed Modem
  • High-Speed Internet Connection (DSL or Cable Internet)

VOIP Features Include:



Digital Phone

Digital phone also uses the Voice-over-IP technology with one main exception--a DSL or Cable Internet connection is not required. Allconnect® has partnered with some cable companies to offer Digital phone including Buckeye CableSystem, Brighthouse Networks, Time Warner Cable, and Cox Communications.

Equipment Needed for Digital Phone:

  • Phone
  • Phone Wall Jack
  • Cable Modem - required to transfer the calls through the phone lines, though Internet access is not required.
  • NID Configuration - The installer configures the NID (Network Interface Device)--aka the gray box outside the house--to enable digital phone to be used through all phone jacks using the same line.

Digital Phone Features Include:



Digital Phone Service Equipment

Many people often question whether, if they switch to digital phone service versus analog service from their traditional phone company, they will need to invest in new and different -- and possibly more costly --equipment to get the new service. Normally, the answer is no. Your current handsets should work just fine.

There are a couple of exceptions, however. If, for sentimental reasons, your primary telephone is a 1950's vintage rotary dial handset, you will have a problem. Since you've had 40 or 50 years to pay for it, your pink rotary Princess handset should be finally retired. Should you be unable to part with it, you could always use it as a planter or conversation piece. Just don't try to use it with your digital phone service.

There is another issue that sometimes may pose a problem. Should you have an older, inexpensive fax machine in your home that has early technology, you may have a problem sending or receiving facsimile transmissions. Digital phone systems can have issues in these cases. You may assume that digital service should work better because of the computer technology used and lack of interference. But, you should remember that fax technology is based on analog telephone systems, not computer or digital methodology. Because the world is filled with fax units that are tuned to analog phone service, "handshaking" or talking to each other can sometimes involve a language difference that causes fax problems.

Except for these typically minor issues, your current wired or cordless phone handsets and systems in your home should only work better or, at least, as well as with classic analog phone systems, whichever major cable TV provider you choose.



Digital Phone Service vs. Analog Landline Systems

Digital phone systems differ from classic analog telephone service in their type of transmission. Analog systems are based on original telephone technology: electrical-based transmissions that travel over their installed lines (wires) to and from your home. Digital phone service uses basic computer technology, sending voice signals in binary code ("1's" and "0's") to your home handset.

This highly technical and wide difference may or may not result in striking variations from your current voice communications quality. The level of quality improvement depends on the reliability and purity of your current landline analog service. All major cable TV systems deliver digital phone service is a significant upgrade because of their ability to deliver clear TV signals and Internet service to your home.

However, if your local landline company, delivering signals with classic analog technology, is reliable and not subject to many electrical fluctuations or weather interruptions, you may not graphically notice the difference. But, if you live in areas affected by aging telephone wires, adverse weather or climate conditions, or other issues causing electrical fluctuations, you might quickly notice the difference in using computer technology.

Problem resolution is also sometimes a difference that you might notice. It is sometimes much easier to resolve a pure computer-related issue than an often more difficult telephone transmission problem. Since digital phone service providers use computer-based binary signals, using up-to-date software can often diagnose and repair problems quicker than diagnosing and fixing classic analog phone issues.



How to Save on Landline Phone Bills

Are you looking for ways to lower your phone bill? Sometimes it's easy to overlook the most obvious way to save--ask your phone company representative if there are calling plans better than the one you are currently using. When was the last time you changed calling plans? Are you still paying for a per-minutes usage plan when a flat-cost service is available? Call your phone company customer service department and learn what new deals have been put in place since your current plan was activated.

If you use long-distance frequently and change plans to a flat-cost service, you can stop monitoring your minutes usage and lower your phone bills accordingly. Just be sure to ask your phone company customer service rep what the final monthly cost of your new phone bill should be including any applicable taxes and fees.You should also ask about any "hidden" fees such as connection charges or surcharges for international dialing where they may apply.



Lower Your Phone Bill by Bundling

Sometimes the best thing you can do to lower your phone bill is consolidate. Are you paying separately for cable, phone, and Internet service? You may find a much better deal by cancelling separate accounts and subscribing to a phone company service bundle. Many introductory rates will lower your phone bill and give you additional television and Internet options too!

If you find an attractive bundled service subscription, don't call the company without asking a few questions. Be sure to ask whether the plan is a flat-cost service or if there are circumstances that can raise or lower your phone bill depending on usage. It's also important to know when introductory rates expire and how much you will pay after that introductory rate period ends. If the standard rate is higher than you are used to paying, ask about more affordable plans with fewer perks. You could find substantial savings on bundled services simply by cutting the number of cable channels or other services you don't need.



What is Cable Phone Service?

Cable companies have gotten into the telephone business thanks to bundled service that often includes cable TV, Internet, and VOIP phone plans. Are you considering one of these bundled plans? The introductory rates are often tempting and can help consolidate your monthly bills for these services into a single lower payment.

When signing a cable phone deal, it's important to find out what terms of the agreement make your cable phone plan different than plans you're used to with top phone companies in the cellular phone market. For example, many top cell phone companies allow you to change the terms of your contract without waiting for your current contract to expire--as long as you sign a brand new contract. Does your cable phone contract offer this trade-off? Or are you locked in to your current rates and features until the end of the current agreement? Can you add features to your cable phone plan later? Ask your cable phone sales rep about these "fine print" details before you sign up and make the most informed purchase possible.