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Johanne Torres[August 12, 2004]  

Hello�hello? Can you hear me now?


And the outage goes on, and on, and on. Once again, Vonage (news alert) was out, and business customers are getting very, very angry. Flame postings inundated online forums everywhere. �Yet again... 918 area. We've been down four times now and as a business customer, this is unacceptable. We'll be looking for a new provider,� wrote one obviously unhappy biz customer on Broadbandreports.com�s VoIP forum.  

The provider calls the outage a delay with the service, while customers call it a reason to switch back to legacy� The outage has brought hour-long service interruptions to thousands of customers across the country. According to the service provider, only a handful of cities like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Boston, and Greensborough, N.C, felt the crash, when users were not even able to log on Vonage�s Web site. Many angry customers posted numerous complaints on an array of message boards announcing cut-offs in major southern metro areas like Dallas, various cities in California, and Las Vegas. 

Vonage has been suffering service hiccups for two weeks now, making a slew of customers wonder if dropping traditional land telephone lines in the near future is a good idea after all. This mishap also makes us wonder what happens to businesses relying 100 percent on this new technology. It would be terribly embarrassing to be in the middle of a crucial conference call, perhaps, and have the whole system shut down� What do you do?

It is clear to many that the technology is still its infancy, however, these services are surely expected to boom into a double-digit subscriber base within the next two to three years.

Johanne Torres is the Assistant Editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the Assistant Editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

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