Isaac Bennetch on 25 Sep 2013 19:53:40 -0700

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[PLUG] Phones (considering switching from POTS to VOIP, keeping my number)


I've got regular POTS phone service through Verizon. It's really just to
have a number to give businesses I don't want to deal with and for
emergency use. I like having copper to my house for that reason; even if
we lose power and the cell phone networks are overloaded, the phone is
likely to keep working.

What I would like to do (and you can tell me if this is a bad idea) is
keep my existing phone number (probably making it some VOIP system) and
get a new copper line to the house. That way, people can call my current
number and my cell phone and house phone will both ring if it's an
important number, it will get dropped if it's a known junk caller, and
so on. So far this sounds a lot like Google Voice to me, but I've heard
a lot of complaints about the call quality and I'm concerned about
getting my number locked in to Google's services (as far as I can tell,
there's no way to port out of Google Voice).

Anyway, I think I've explained my case and I turn to you for thoughts.
Is this possible, and if so how would I do it. I'll do a brief recap:
* Prefer to keep a copper phone (which will probably get a new number)
* Prefer to be able to define behavior based on incoming number (ring
all my phones, none of my phones, only my cell between 9a-6p, etc)
* Side note: I don't tend to call internationally and tend to use my
cell phone for long distance; having cheap international calling
available would be 'nice' but isn't a needed feature.
* Voicemail transcription to email would be great
* Voicemail access from everywhere would be great

Basically I think I'm looking for Google Voice without the Google or
risk of poor quality.

What do you think -- am I making sense and is this a realistic goal?
What sort of companies or technologies should I be looking at.

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