Ooh La La, Ooma?

There’s a new voip kid on the block. With a couple of twists.

On the first hand, it’s a kind of voip powered telephone answering machine.

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On the second hand, it seems to use phone line networking to connect secondary units to the main unit in your home. That’s the only way I could see the automatic second line ring/pickup working in such a transparent manner, given the hookup scenario they show on their website.

On the gripping hand, they are counting on at least some portion of their customers to have a backup landline in addition to the baseband/broadband voip connection. They are routing other people’s voip originated calls back out to the PSTN via another customer’s ooma/landline connection :

ooma’s call-routing algorithm, a/k/a the people-powered network, uses the Internet to connect local calling areas throughout the US for free instead of relying primarily on traditional phone switches, known as the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). ooma’s call-routing technology ensures a completely transparent experience, so the ability to make and receive calls is not impacted when the line is in use by another ooma caller.

Okay…. sure, why not, so long as they ensure that no long distance funny business ever gets dialed on the other end, and that the E911 calls of that other user kicks any ooma PSTN bridged call off and lets them at their landline for that emergency call.

E911 defaulting to the landline, if you have a landline in addition to voip, is another good feature of Ooma btw. Along with web 2.0-ish voicemail management options etc.

What if you don’t want joe schmoe in east new york to be routing through your internet and out your landline?

Customers who purchase or subscribe to ooma Premier are automatically exempted from the people-powered network.

Well alrighty then. Just pony up for the extended package.

Check them out at ooma.com

Only available in the USA? Pity.

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