Saturday 31 December 2011

Vianet Services in North Sault

According to their website, Vianet is now offering fixed wireless broadband (high speed) Internet in the Algoma District using Tbaytel infrastructure. Full details are available on the Vianet Residential Wireless page and the associated links.

Note: The following information is provided for information purposes. All costs associated with the services discussed are paid out of my own pocket and I am not reimbursed in any manner.

I recently signed up for Vianet’s vTone service with a Sault Ste. Marie local number. I took the Vianet Linksys Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) and my kitchen telephone with me on a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. I was able to connect the ATA to Internet in my room using a Cat 5 Ethernet cable. Once connected, I had full phone service with a local Sault Ste. Marie phone number. My contacts were able to call my local vTone number in SSM and the phone would ring in Myrtle Beach, all without long distance charges. Likewise I was able to made local calls in the Sault Ste. Marie dialling area, again without toll charges. I also signed up for one of the Vianet long distance plans in case I wanted to use the feature. Sault Ste. Marie is the point of origin for the long distance cost calculations .

This technology may be useful to Snowbirds going south for the winter and wishing to keep in touch with the folks at home.


  1. don't forget about 911 limitations with this technology. This technology is nice, but if you are in Myrtle Beach and dial 911, you're going to get a 911 dispatch that thinks you're at the address/city configured on your account (ie. sault ste marrie.) If you're unable to speak, you're out of luck.

    Same if you're a snowbird heading south for the winter. the 911 dispatch probably couldn't help you. Maybe they can track down another 911 dispatch in your area, but you would have to be able to verbally tell them where you are.

    Best to maybe have local police/fire/ambulance numbers near your phone for your geographical area.

  2. Anonymous makes some very good points about how 911 calls are handled by a VoIP vendor. I appreciate the feedback.

    The 911 issue has been a source of concern for VoIP service.

    Vianet provided detailed information about the 911 limitation during the sign-up process and also sent a follow-up email to me about the 911 limitations. Finally, there is a detailed explanation of the operation and limitations of the 911 service on the Vianet website under FAQ.

    Most vendors have procedures in place that allow the user to notify the 911 system where the ATA is physically located.

    Users also need to know that in the event of Internet connectivity or overall power failure no ATA based voice service - including 911 - is available. (Note: traditional hardwired landline phones do not require an 110v power source but most cordless phones require an 110v power source.)

    In my Myrtle Beach example, my accommodation had an in-house phone system connected to the local emergency services. This would have been my prime phone for emergency assistance.

    While the VoIP phone may not be the answer for all users, it did address a requirement I had.