Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Broadvox is coming to Canada

I've started reading the Broadband Reports VoIP Forum, and saw an interesting post:

Broadvox will offer Canadian numbers in the next few months (information from a post by Jeff Williams at the Voxilla Broadvox discussion group) in the following markets:

Jeff Williams (Broadvox President) confirmed this in a later posting. Their pricing plans look to be expensive (US$) compared to Primus Talkbroadband, but their feature set is superb. It really seems like "phone plus" rather than Primus' offering, which is nothing more than a phone line replacement today. I did suggest to the tech guys at Primus that lowering the price of additional features and adding more advanced ones would speed up adoption.

It really does seem like people will be shopping for voice service providers in the future much like they shop for ISPs or web hosts today. There will be some cheap, fly-by-night operations, some good deals, and the expensive, gold-plated guys.

I've grabbed the entire Broadvox feature list and mirrored it in the extended posting, including a brief summary and/or comment for those that need it.

Broadvox seem to make a lot of features accessible through an online interface -- exactly how VoIP telephony should be managed.

The full list of included features with Broadvox (the links go to the Broadvox page describing each one). As far as I can tell, all these services are provided free with every plan. I'm only including features which are different and/or not included free with Primus or your regular phone system.

  • Caller ID
  • Call Return -- aka *69
  • Call Forwarding
  • Find Me, Follow Me - make specific calls go to specific numbers (like your cell phone, pager, etc.)
  • Friends & Family - area code in a different city
  • Family Address Book - online contact manager
  • Conference Calling - free three-way calling
  • Repeat Dialing - keeps re-dialing a number in the background if it is busy; you can continue to make other calls in the meantime
  • Local Long Distance - calls anywhere within the US or Canada are considered "local" and are part of your plan
  • Voicemail - Check voice messages via phone, online, or received as an email attachment. Email notification of new messages. Save as many messages as you want for as long as you want. And, of course, save messages to your hard drive. This is what VoIP-enabled voicemail is all about! This feature alone would make me switch to Broadvox. Well, that and the fact that "local" is basically all of North America.
  • Customizable Contact List - along with listing your contacts, you can organize them in different groups. Different groups can be set to contact you on different phone numbers/devices, in a different order.
  • Faxes to Email - Hallelujah! Any fax calls to your number will get received, then forward to you via email as an attachment.
  • Call Transfer - you can actually dial a number for someone you have on the line and transfer them to the new call. May very well be an unused feature, but it seems cool nonetheless.
  • Call Logs - just like on your cell phone, you can get full access to Missed, Incoming, and Outgoing calls.

Here's a feature that someone should add: configurable, auto-Do Not Disturb. I'm unlikely to want to accept calls in the middle of the night or early morning on weekends: let me specify when DND will come on automatically.

As an aside, Broadvox's website is a perfect example of how not to design a website. Absolutely everything is an image, making the vast majority of content on the site invisible to Google. I mean, the pages don't even have titles!