14 March 2005

Extended VOIP

If you have recently moved from the more traditional phone company to VOIP, you might have encountered a similar roadblock. Your VOIP provider (in my case, Vonage) sends you an ATA device (in my case, a Linksys RT31P2 Broadband Router with 2 Phone Ports). You can plug any phone into the jack, but that's all you have: one phone. You could also use a splitter, but that only gives you one additional phone, and you'd have to run your phone cable all over the house.

An easy solution to is to make use of your house's pre-wired telephone connections. Since phone lines are wired in parallel, you can simply connect your ATA device to the nearest phone jack. Then, every phone jack in your house (assuming you have a single line) will be available for your VOIP service.

There is one caveat!

Despite the fact that your traditional phone service may have been turned off, the wire connections still exist. The phone company may send voltage over your line, which could damage your ATA device. The solution is to disconnect the incoming connection:

1. Locate your home's telephone network interface device.

2. Open it up.

3. Disconnect the incoming wires. You should cover the ends with electrical tape. In my case, line one was the blue and white wires. The blue wire was connected to the gold screw, and the white wire was connected to the green screw.

Your telephone network interface may look different. Mine was manufactured by Siecor (which is now owned by Corning). Also, do NOT disconnect the incoming lines if you have phone service! This would be bad.

Good luck!
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