Three days have passed since we cut off DirecTV. Lexi has mentioned missing one show on two occasions. Scott hasn’t cried over Megan Kelly yet. I haven’t turned on the TV except to watch the Olympics. Basically, what I’m saying is, we don’t miss cable.
That’s not to say that we’ve cut out TV from our lives because oh my goodness, my kids love Netflix. We rented Redbox this week. Scott has listened to FOX News on XM Radio every evening. “I can’t see Shep,” he pined last night as Shepard Smith’s show came over the XM Radio base in the living room.
I’m so in love with the idea we don’t have that bill this month that even if the Gator Boys and Turtle Man joined forces, they couldn’t convince me to turn cable back on.
In fact, my attention has turned to our phone landline.
The main problem with getting rid of our landline is I am just on too many conference calls for work anymore. Just last week, I counted 800 minutes dedicated to phone calls. Unless I move to an unlimited cell plan, there’s no way that’s working. Also, cell phones are known to drop calls and carry too much static.
I tried a VoIP phone a few years back but we really couldn’t make a go of it. The cost of the service just wasn’t low enough to make it worth it at the time.
However, a lot of progression has been made in the last few years. One thing external to the VoIP technology itself is a lot of people have been dropping landlines as more and more people have been getting cell phones and relying on texting. It’s normal to not be in the phone book. It’s normal to have to call a long distance number for someone’s cell phone. It’s normal to make play dates through Facebook and email. It’s normal for people to call your cell phone first and home second.
I wanted to get rid of our landline but still needed an option for my conference calls. Last week I found out about this OBi device and immediately knew it was going to be our answer. Haha. Answer. Get it?
The OBi device hooks to your router and then sits in between that and your regular telephone. You sign up for a Google Voice account with a new telephone number and register it with OBi. When people call you on your new Google Voice number, it comes through your OBi device and rings to all your regular phones.
The best part? After the initial cost of the OBi device for $50, your phone service is FREE as long as Google Voice keeps it that way!
The only downside I can find is people calling us locally will have to pay long distance since Google Voice did not have a local number for us. However, like I said, many folks have switched to using cell phones with long-distance to call and we still have our local cell numbers for people like Scott’s grandmother that don’t have a cell phone. Oh, and of course, if your Internet goes down, your phones go down. Again, though, cell phones to the rescue.
I’ve gone through one work day with the device and so far, so good. No one commented on the change except my manager who knew I had switched and he said the sound was good. He does all of his calls this way and I’ve never known him to have trouble. Oh, and my mom did notice my caller ID is showing up as a different city but with a simple explanation, I think that can be overcome as an issue.
I think this is an awesome option for those of us without unlimited cell phone plans and yet need to be on the phone for many hours.
I haven’t made the call yet but if this keeps up, we’re saying goodbye to our phone bill!
Updated to add: If you want this box to work for the entire house, you need to put the line from the wall into the Phone plug on OBi instead of the Line plug. We then had to get a splitter for the Line plug that so we could also hook up our office phone to the same place so that phone would get service. The Line plug will then be empty.