Something on your mind? Want to give us feedback on something in particular or everything in general? Tell us how we are doing!
#6912 by Beowoof
Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:57 am
We started ooma service in Dec, 2008. We got rid of our landline and are now entirely dependent upon ooma to provide phone service. We have now experienced two internet outages in a month: March 12, 2009 for about 3 hours and yesterday for around 8 hours.

I do appreciate how service-oriented everyone at ooma is and how responsive they were during the outage yesterday. But, as stated in TechCrunch: "Ooma Offline: If You Wanna Be A Phone Company, You Can’t Go Dead." Given our recent experience with ooma -- and that ooma is basically in start-up mode -- I am now resigned to having occasional outages going forward. But, I ask ooma to give me a contingency plan for what to do when there is an outage.

I could rant about the inconvenience these outages have caused, or about how my wife now worries about future outages impacting life safety should there be no 911 capability to deal with an emergency.

My purpose is not to rant but to ask ooma to undertake some planning so that:

1. outages can be mitigated,
2. provide ooma users with a contingency plan for outages, and
3. provide a backup capability should an outage occur.

Others have commented about the need for "load balancing", eliminating "single point of failures", or providing a "network availability number" similar to Vonage. Ooma needs to put these into effect as soon as possible.

Given that this is now the second outage in a month, I would appreciate a roadmap on what plans ooma has to improve their service levels as as well as a contingency plan for what to do in case of an outage.

I am most concerned about a contingency plan as my wife now is adamant about having a backup capability.

For example, one ooma user said they just downloaded a copy of Skype and they were able to have phone service. I logged into the Skype site and they have a "pay as you go" option. It seems to me this may be the best available option at this time.

Perhaps others may have some other ideas.

Thanks for your suggestions.
#6921 by bw1
Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:30 am
What is your contingency plan if your internet connection goes down?

If you absolutely have to have phone service (for 911 or whatever), get a POTS line and connect it to the wall port on the back of the ooma hub and it will automatically fail over to the landline when the ooma hub goes offline or loses power.

Or go to Walmart and get a pre-paid cell phone. Even if you don't activate it you can still use it to make 911 calls.

I haven't had a cell phone and have lived without mobile calling for years and since getting ooma, I went out and got a Verizon pre-paid cell phone from Walmart that I'm going to port over to Page Plus Cellular after the $10/60 days included airtime on Verizon is used up.

All that said, yes, ooma needs to have there own backups in place to prevent outages.
#6924 by WayneDsr
Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:49 am
Yes, ooma needs a backup plan. With that said:

I've had my SBC/AT&T internet connection go down for a complete day. Including my landline. Cell phones are our backup plan. Internet connections are not realiable. If you have a fear of 911 emergencies, or have a sick or elderly person in your house, then voip is not the way to go. You MUST always have your own backup plan, no matter what form of communication you have. This is YOUR responsibilty, not oomas or any other company.
It seems to be the way of the world these days to blame everyone else for ones short sightedness.

Did you notice how many people came out of the wood work yesterday to complain endlessly in the middle of a crisis? Where are all these people every day in the forums when a nubie needs help?

'Nuff said.

#6936 by Beowoof
Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:03 am
According to the FCC, interconnected VoIP providers must deliver all 911 calls as well as a call back number and the customer’s “registered location” for each call to the customer’s designated local emergency operator.

So, what happens when there is an internet outage, regardless of the point of origin? Is ooma still responsible for providing 911 service? Or am I responsible for having my own contingency plan?

What I am learning is that the internet is more vulnerable to service disruptions than I ever realized. It is clear that I do need my own backup plan because I cannot rely on the internet nor ooma at this time. I will use Skype as a first line of backup and a cell phone as a second.

I would hope that, eventually, the vulnerabilities in service -- whether due to ooma, internet providers, or fiber cable sabatoge, or whatever -- can be addressed. I would also hope that ooma does eliminate its own vulnerability to a single point of failure as well as improve its failover capability and load balancing as well as provide a contingency phone number service. Its success in the long run depends on it.
#6949 by oomg
Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:59 am
Basic landline service is still cheap... somewhere between $7.50 and $15.00 per month depending on the level of service (e.g. limited local calling vs. unlimited local calling). If the objective is to have the greatest probability of completing outbound emergency calls, get the cheapest landline service you can find. Remember, even the least expensive landline service does not charge for inbound calls. So, if you have a VOIP service interruption, simply switch the lines temporarily. This really isn't that difficult.

Last edited by oomg on Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
#6957 by lohertz
Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:32 am
Wow, I guess the only thing to say is if you want a comfort level of "guaranteed" service then even your local phone company cannot provide that.

It has been and always will be, a money factor. If you want guaranteed service then you, the individual or business owner should incorporate redundancy into your infrastructure.

I've spent a long time in contingency planning and disaster recovery to know that there is no full proof plan.

You can only be so prepared and complaining because a service you don't pay for is out, then you need only look to you wallet.

I enjoy Ooma. If it goes out one day b/c of outside forces (or financial) I still PAY for my cell phone.

It may be an inconvenience, but that's what happens.

A suggestion would be (and has already been addressed) as adding redundancy in the midwest or east coast.

But, there is a financial matter as well. Can Ooma afford to be vulnerable to such a situation that happen this week? Its a risk reward scenario that only Ooma's management is going to answer.
#6970 by skellener
Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:18 am
To put it simply, you must have YOUR OWN contingency plan for emergencies.

I live in So. Cal. When a major quake hits, everything pretty much goes down. Power, internet, POTS, cell towers - everything. Usually the first thing back up is POTS. Sometimes even faster than main power. With an old style telephone, it receives it's power from the phone company. But even when it's up right away, it will be jammed. When cell service is restored - it will be jammed as well. Of course, everyone is trying to communicate after a disaster. There is no perfect system. You've gotta weigh the pros and cons of each service.
Last edited by skellener on Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#7002 by bw1
Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:11 pm
oomg wrote: So, if you have a VOIP service interruption, simply switch the lines temporarily. This really isn't that difficult.


You don't have to switch lines, you can just plug your active landline into the wall port of the ooma hub and it will automatically fail over and give the landline dialtone to all phones connected to the phone port of the ooma hub when the hub goes down.

And that will work regardless if you have your ooma provisioned for landline use or not.
#7003 by jamariano75
Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:23 pm
As most of you know, ooma experienced an extended service outage between 11AM and 5PM (pacific time) on April 13, 2009. In view of the inconvenience caused by this and the quality and reliability of ooma service, there should be a general internet outage contingency plan. One idea I have in mind is there should be FREE feature included like an automatic-call-forwarding function for each account generally for both Core and Premiere when internet connection is not available or when there is an outage. Ooma users should be able to automatically receive calls to a call forwarding number just in case there is no internet connection or general outage. Please, to anyone who is concerned, whether you are an Ooma user or specially if you work for Ooma, please consider this suggestion.
#7056 by bw1
Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:02 pm
As I understand it, that capability is coming soon.

Had that been in place, it wouldn't have helped with this outage, since the ooma data center was unable to connect to the internet.

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