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Overwhelmed by Comcast service packages and hardware choices


Teffy
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securitybreach

Does Comcast send phone calls through the gateway, or down the same phone wires used by Verizon?

 

Yes, they do. The phone connections are on the back of the modem and provides two lines. Comcast does not run any phone outlets, well they didn't offer it to me. They just said to plug the phone line into the back of the modem/gateway when I asked about it.

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Yes, they do. The phone connections are on the back of the modem and provides two lines. Comcast does not run any phone outlets, well they didn't offer it to me. They just said to plug the phone line into the back of the modem/gateway when I asked about it.

No, AFAIK they don't run outlets. And they don't tell people that unless specifically asked. They just arrive, install the new modem with phone outlets and leave--if people don't know what's going to happen, Comcast just figures that's tough. They're counting on everyone having or buying in a hurry after the fact those type of cordless phone systems where you can have one base unit and other satellite units in different areas of the house because for sure your base phone's going to have to be close to your modem. Luckily, I knew what would happen and I had one of those phones anyway, but some people have been unpleasantly surprised. Also, I had two landlines in the house and one of them is still Verizon copper (for as long as they let me keep it) because my mother, like Liz's husband, has a pacemaker and our home security system needs a land line, although it does have a cellular backup in case it can't dial out on the land line.
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Does Comcast send phone calls through the gateway, or down the same phone wires used by Verizon?
Gateway. We have friends that subscribed to triple play. Every time the electric goes off or the cable goes off, they have no phone. I leave a message and when the power or cable comes back, they either check the answering machine or the computer. I'm not exactly sure what lets them know we called.

 

Teffy, have you ever considered using Powerline adapters?

XAVB2001_0.jpg

I have 3 of these. One is plugged in to an outlet near my router on the first floor and connected by CAT cable to the router. The other two are plugged into outlets on different sides of the basement. I run CAT cable to my husband's computers and it is as if he is wired to the router.

I bought NetGear brand because when i was researching, this seemed like the most idiot-proof brand. I'm sure the other brands have improved.

Edited by zlim
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V.T. Eric Layton

Or as my mom would correct me, "advice on which to chew." :-)

 

Your mom sounds like a grammar nazi after my own heart. ;)

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Cluttermagnet

Teffy-

 

Glad you're still with us. Well, your conventional POTS line (plain old telephone service) has a lot to recommend it, IMO. But it is old tech, of course, and many are quick to dismiss it and label it obsolete. Not so fast...

 

In my opinion, a home alarm system is going to be more trustworthy on a POTS line. Sometimes waaaay more trustworthy. Here are a couple of reasons why. First of all, your telco central office has a huge bank of batteries (think car batteries, they are sort of like that). If power goes out locally, you will usually find that your wired phone line is still working just fine. Not your cordless phones, of course- they need AC power- but your wall phone is still kicking... Try that with either cable or FIOS. Oh, they will hold up the line for a while if power drops- until the small battery in your service entrance box discharges. That's hours or maybe a day, tops- vs. many days or a week or more with the huge roomful of batteries you local 'obsolete' wired telco has. What if you are away, there is a burglary, and the power has been out. Do you think your security company is going to get the alarm? I'm betting on the 'metallic' line (wired line) the telco provides, every time!

 

Then there is the issue of the overall reliability of the internet. No, I'm not kidding. 'Telephone' connections that rely on an internet pipe are notoriously 'flaky', just not the same, rock solid reliable phone you have been used to. Think 'cellular'. That is a comparably squirrelly service. OK, it works, sort of, but just has too many hiccups for me, thanks. I only started carrying and using a cell phone

less than 3 years ago. Yes, I am a very slow adopter- Heh! The old Bell system is, relatively, a Cadillac- purpose built and uncompromising. Some real engineering went into that enterprise. Today's internet solutions work OK, but they are just soooo unfinished...

 

Here's a parallel- remember the old analog TV's? You change channels, you instantly see and hear whatever station may be there. Try that with today's 'modern' digital sets. Wait one, two seconds to see and hear anything after you change the channel. Signal a little weak? You lose all of the audio, it's not just noisy or scratchy. Ditto for the picture. Lose signal, or receive a weak signal and you get that obnoxious square 'pixelation', and it often takes seconds for the TV to straighten up and provide a clear signal. Sometimes all you see for a second or so is tar people, tar animals- everything looks black. With the old analog sets, it maybe got a little snowy, at worst. It was for you to decide what was a usable signal and when to move on...

 

My point is that newer is not always better. At both my place and at Betty's, we have decided to keep our old metallic lines (POTS lines). It's worth it. I'm modeming at this very moment- at an earthshaking ~30K bps with a dialup modem. Oh, joy! But it gets the job done. (I can get all the Comcast internet I want at Betty's) Try that if your broadband internet goes out- Heh! My POTS line is my internet backup when I'm not able to get on broadband. You can't do dialup over a dead broadband pipe... Your alarm can't send in an alarm signal over a dead broadband pipe...

 

I'd suggest you look at the Comcast triple play phone service as an added bonus and keep your old phone line. I hope you didn't already give your old phone number to Comcast. Although it is transferrable for free, I would strongly recommend against putting all your telephone eggs in one Comcast basket...

 

 

Edit: I sure hope you chose a *new* phone number when you were signing up for that triple play. If you gave up your old house phone number to Comcast for transfer, then decide later to back out, it is going to be a mess... I won't even get into the Verizon side of that mess (or whatever local telco you have), if you are still on a wired line at this point... Let me just say that it may prove somewhat true "there's no going back". Verizon and other incumbent telcos are desperate to get rid of everyone still on POTS lines. They want to move you to FTTP (fiber to the premises). It may have advantages, true, but there is a downside as well. My view of POTS lines? To quote the late Charleton Heston, former NRA head (love him or hate him): "...from my cold, dead hands..." (will you pry my POTS line...)

Edited by Cluttermagnet
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Cluttermagnet

Actually, you haven't scared me off, but you have given me a lot to think about. For example, Liz mentioned her burglar alarm system - we have one that requires a phone land line, so I am guessing that it won't work with Comcast. Does Comcast send phone calls through the gateway, or down the same phone wires used by Verizon?

 

Not through the same physical lines, Teffy- at least not in the all important 'last mile' where the physical cables terminate at your house. I'm pretty sure a burglar alarm system could signal the company that monitors it just as well over a Comcast telephone connection as over a POTS connection. That's beside the point, IMO. For me, the question is one of reliability, and I trust the POTS line hands down for this important function. The others, not so much... Remember, who is most reliable in a long duration power failure? I'm talking days without power. I'll choose the POTS line every time. YMMV...

 

 

I returned the Comcast Triple Play "box of stuff" to a Comcast store today. That is a load off my mind - I hope now they will quit pestering me to connect it.

 

Oh, good- that's a load off my mind, too...

Edited by Cluttermagnet
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Hello,

 

I have a Comcast "Xfinity" connection at home for Internet access only (no TV, no phone). It provides roughly 60Mbps down/12Mbps up via a Motorola SB6141 cable modem I purchased. The modem is plugged into an 802.11ac router that I purchased as well.

 

Higher speeds and triple play are available, however, I prefer having a dedicated copper POTS line for phone service, don't have a TV in the house right now and, even more importantly, that speed meets my current needs.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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Guest LilBambi

Yes, I would also prefer to have a POTS line for telephone for things like alarm system etc. but with the costs of Verizon Wireless as the only viable Internet solution here in the boonies on a monthly basis that quickly fell by the wayside. ;)

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securitybreach

You all make a good point about POTS but I just use a cellphone and 9mm for my home security B)

 

I probably should get one if I can but I have not had a landline in over 5 years

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