NOTE: If you are serious about undertaking this solution, you probably want to read the updates at the bottom of this entry, as we have now switched over to Flowroute.

My super cheap VOIP solution was a great idea, but it had some issues with inbound calls.

So now, I'm giving CallCentric a try instead - even though it will cost more - around $2/month for the inbound number, and outbound rate of $0.02/minute. Inbound calls also are billed at a rate of $0.015/minute, so they aren't free either.

What we have found with my super cheap solution is that Caller ID is flaky at best (if it works at all, it's usually some number in Tacoma WA - probably belonging to either Google Voice or ipkall), and even worse - by the time inbound calls are forwarded through all the services and our phone rings, Google Voice gives up and forwards the call to voice mail. So our phone rings, and we pick it up, but there's nobody there - because the caller is already leaving a message on GV.

Here's what the new configuration looks like:

This is a very simple configuration, consisting of our ATA and CallCentric, plus Google Voice. Our GV number will be forwarded to the CallCentric DID (in fact, both numbers are in the same Central Office), and CallCentric will send the GV CallerID on outbound calls - they just needed to verify that the number, indeed, belonged to me.

As far as ATA configuration goes, it was easy and simple, and well documented at CallCentric's site for those who need a bit more guidance at all the required SIP configuration values.

Some additional pluses:

  • I get the G729a codec back, as CallCentric supports it.
  • CallCentric supports 911 service. There's a small surcharge associated with it, $3 at sign-up. I don't know if there is a monthly fee or tax as well.
  • Some other nifty features you can read about here.
UPDATE 2012-11-08:

After about 20 months with Callcentric I've switched to Flowroute as a result of about 4 weeks of flaky or down service due to DDOS and then superstorm Sandy.

Read the latest update here before considering anything written here.

And another update here on switching to an Obihai OBi100 after my Linksys died.