Vonage | Home Internet Providers
Vonage is a commercial voice over IP network help publicly. The company’s name is derived from its motto which is “Voice-Over-Net-AGE” and is the indication of the company’s voice over IP services. They offer telephone services via broadband connection using the VoIP protocol. The Company’s promotional campaign attempts to portray itself as “Vonage the Broadband Phone Company”. It was founded in Edison, New Jersey and then shifted its headquarters to Holmdel Township, New Jersey.
The company started off with service coverage for the United States only and then in 2004 it included Canada within its coverage and then expanded into United Kingdom in 2005. By March of 2010, Vonage had around 2.4 million customers.
Vonage was brought to the court on the basis of five patent infringements in the year of 2006 on June when Verizon filed a lawsuit depicting Vonage as charged for the infringement of patent copyrights held by Verizon. The court found Vonage guilty on three of the charges and not guilty on the rest two and ordered it to pay fifty eight million dollars to Verizon as well as a 5.5% royalty on every sale.
However, Vonage kept on staying the payment with appeals until the court ordered Vonage to stop signing up customers around when, Vonage decided to pay Verizon around one twenty million dollars as damage compensation. The entire court issue was on for nine months.
The patents that Vonage was considered to have violated were the Curry Patents, the Voit Patents and the Gardell patents. However, these were not the only lawsuits filed against Vonage. The loss to Verizon was followed closely by another lawsuit from Sprint Nextel in a very short time range of thirty two days and was forced to pay Sprint eighty million dollars in damages. This was followed by another from AT&T and cost Vonage thirty nine million dollars.
Another lawsuit which was filed by Nortel was proven against them but luckily it did not incur any fines to the company. Given Vonage’s record of lawsuits, its service follows a similar pattern. Vonage service does not allow emergency calls implicitly and requires the subscribers to register their address with the company to prove eligibility of emergency number services. It fails miserably in case of an internet connection problem or in case of a power outage. One good thing about their service is that it is cheap.
Discontinuing their service is a huge hassle in itself as the process of service cancellation is not available on-line and as such, the subscribers have to call a toll-free number to process their cancellation request. The hold time is large and very inefficient and was reviewed in a Wall Street Journal article in May 2006.
After cancellation, Vonage creates a lot of difficulty in transferring the previous subscriber’s phone number to another provider since some early FCC LNP rules do not apply to them.
It is not recommended to use Vonage services given their records; however, if you require cheap connection without much concern about the discomfort in service, you might give Vonage a try.