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The 24Karat Marketer Newsletter
Bringing you a wealth of opportunity
and knowledge to help you succeed!
http://24karatmarketer.com
 
 January 27, 2005
    
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-------------
In this Issue
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$$  Top Sponsor Ad
$$  Table of Contents
$$  Publishers' Notes
$$  Quote of The Week
$$  Sponsor Ad
$$  Your Subscriber Ads + Contest
$$  Feature Article -  VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VoIP): Is 
              It a Reasonable Consideration for Home Business Owners?
$$  SubscribeMe.net Ads
$$  F*ree Ezine Ads
$$  Sponsor Ad
$$  2nd Feature Article - Technical Support
$$  Ezine Gallery
$$  Contact Us
 
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 ** Publisher's Notes:
 
Welcome to all - current and new - subscribers to The
24 Karat Marketer!  Thank you for subscribing to our
ezine. 
 
I was thinking... I need some fresh content... or ideas. 
Why don't YOU tell ME what you want to read about or see
here in The 24 Karat?  It is YOUR ezine, after all :). 
 
Send me your ideas at mailto:webmistress@24karatmarketer.com?subject=ideas.
Maybe you'll see your ideas here :)
 
Have a great week!
Thank you!
Michelle
 
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** Quote of the Week!
-----------------------
 
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It is a thousand times better to have common sense without
education than to have education without common sense.
 
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 ** Feature Article
----------------
 
VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VoIP): Is It a Reasonable
Consideration for Home Business Owners?
 
By Elizabeth H. Cottrell
 
Note: SEE ALSO Patricia C. Dinslage's excellent Tool Review
of VoIP technology entitled "The Future of Your
Phone-Disconnecting Your Phone Company" in the Tool Review
section of this Website:
http://www.iahbe.org/Resources/Reviews/Voip.jsp.
 
What is VoIP?
 
Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Internet Voice is a
telecommunications technology available to the more than 30
million people who have broadband Internet service. It
allows them to make telephone calls through their broadband
network without using the regular (analog) telephone line
and incurring regular long distance charges. Services vary
significantly in that some allow calls only to other VoIP
customers using the same service while others allow calls
to anyone with a telephone number of any kind. Some
provider services allow you to use a telephone with an
adapter, while others only allow use of the computer or a
special VoIP phone. The voice signal is converted to a
digital signal for transmission via the Internet. The
signal is converted back to the receiving computer or
telephone.
 
VoIP has the potential for revolutionizing long distance
calling, especially international calling. Already long
distance carriers such as Telmex, which has the bulk of
Mexican long distance business both inside Mexico and for
Mexicans calling friends and family across the border, are
feeling the effects as more and more people use Internet
phones instead of standard phones. Not surprisingly,
providers such as AT&T are calling the solution "ideal for
international business travelers hopping from hotel to
hotel…it offers the convenience of a single phone number
and such advanced features as global teleconferencing,
integration of voice-mail with e-mail and do-not-disturb."
 
So why could VoIP be better than using a regular telephone?
Features vary from one provider to another, but AT&T is
typical of many that provide additional features that give
"control and connectedness, such as "Do Not Disturb"—the
ability for callers to find you wherever you are, the
ability to see all inbound and outbound calls over the past
60 days, and the ability to listen to and manage voicemail
via your Personal Call Manager Website." Personal
conference calling for up to 10 participants may also be
offered. You can also use your computer while you are
talking to someone using VoIP.
 
ZDNet Website experts claim that "companies today are
seeing the value of transporting voice over IP networks to
reduce telephone and facsimile costs and to set the stage
for advanced multimedia applications and services, such as
unified messaging, in which voice, fax, and e-mail are all
combined.
 
How Much Does It Cost?
 
In a home-business setting, VoIP needs little more than a
high-speed Internet connection. This can be through a cable
modem or using DSL or a local area network. With most
providers, you can either use an inexpensive microphone
connected to your computer, or you can connect a phone
directly to a telephone adaptor (usually provided).
 
In the United States, AT&T's CallAdvantage Service is a
basis for comparison to other providers. It gives you a
"number for life" and typical international rates include
$0.07 a minute to Mexico, and $0.05 a minute to the United
Kingdom and Germany. Their "Unlimited Local and Long
Distance Plan" is $29.95 per month. This does not include
your broadband Internet service charge.
 
Lingo.com (https://www.lingo.com/guWeb/) offers a basic
home plan for $19.95 per month that offers unlimited
calling in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe, plus low
rates to other countries. Specialized plans with unlimited
calling to specific parts of the world are available. The
service offering unlimited calls to Asia, for instance, is
$34.95/month.
 
In Canada, Primus has two different packages from which
small business may choose. TalkBroadBand Pro is the most
basic package available to small business owners. For
$27.95US a month users get a number of features, including
a phone number, basic directory listing and a choice of
direct dialing or extension dialing (4-digit dialing within
a service area). TalkBroadBand Enterprise for $29.95US a
month will get a small business owner Web portal access as
well. Vonage's small business basic plan is listed at
$55.99US on their website.
 
Check out the service provider's plans and READ THE FINE
PRINT!
 
Where Can I Find a VoIP Provider?
 
Go to any search engine and type in "VoIP provider+your
state or your country." The search results will yield many,
many providers. For an International Listing of almost
1,000 VoIP service providers by country, alphabetically, go
to: http://www.voipproviderslist.com/
 
Additional providers:
 
 
United Kingdom: http://www.kinitron.co.uk (see also
international listing above)
 
 
 
What Are Some of the Challenges Ahead for VoIP?
 
Currently, the voice quality for VoIP is not as clear as
for land lines, and there are complaints about sound delays
and echoes, but technology in this area is expected to
improve. There will have to be a great deal of settling out
as telecommunications companies and government
telecommunications regulators work out how to integrate the
highly regulated telephone industry with the relatively
unregulated Internet industry. Regulation could add some
cost to the service. There will also be issues and
conflicts between various VoIP providers, especially as
they compete for this potentially lucrative business.
 
Unlike a dedicated telephone land line, VoIP will not work
when there is a power outage. There are apparently some
irregularities when dialing the emergency 911, but AT&T has
a work-around solution for this.
 
Does VoIP Make Sense for a Very Small Business?
 
If you do a lot of long distance calling, especially
international calling - or if you work with a team of
people who are in different parts of the world - VoIP is
definitely worth investigating.
 
SOURCES
 
Brown, Gabe. "VoIP - Voice Over IP: A Small Business
Perspective." 2004:
http://www.horizondatacom.com/services/articles/articleindex/article00002.php
 
Phone+ Journal Website. "Multinational Companies
Participating in AT&T VoIP Pilot ." September 22, 2004:
http://www.phoneplusmag.com/hotnews/49h22114151.html
 
PRNewswire Website. "VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol -
Revolutionizes the Way Consumers Talk on the Phone."
October 7, 2004:
http://www.prnewswire.com/broadcast/12401/consumer.shtml
 
Sandoval, Ricardo. "Internet Calling Worries Telmex." El
Universal Online. November 02, 2004:
http://www.el-universal.com.mx/pls/impreso/noticia.html?id_nota=7538&tabla=miami
 
US Federal Communications Commission. "Voice Over Internet
Protocol: Frequently Asked Questions." 2004:
http://www.fcc.gov/voip/
 
ZDNet Website. "Make the Case: Business Case Template for
Voice Over Internet Protocol Solutions." April, 2003:
http://itpapers.zdnet.com/abstract.aspx?docid=41965&promo=200111&tag=wpr.popular
 
Note: SEE ALSO Patricia C. Dinslage's excellent Tool Review
of VoIP technology entitled "The Future of Your
Phone-Disconnecting Your Phone Company" in the Tool Review
section of the IAHBE Website:
http://www.iahbe.org/Resources/Reviews/Voip.jsp
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© 2004 Elizabeth H. Cottrell. All rights reserved worldwide.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Elizabeth H. Cottrell is a home-based entrepreneur, freelance
technical writer, and owner of Riverwood Technologies, a desktop
publishing company in Maurertown, Virginia. She is
currently a staff writer and editor for IAHBE.
 

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 ** 2nd Feature Article
----------------
 
Technical Support
 
January, 2004 by Elizabeth H. Cottrell, IAHBE Staff Writer
 
Q: Where can I get technical help with my computer if I
have a problem at night or on the weekends?
 
A: First of all, you should try to establish yourself with
a local trained computer professional so that when a
problem arises, you have someone to call. Find out what
their "after hours" policies are.
 
For those really weird times when "normal" tekkies aren't
available, first consult your manual. Always keep your
hardware and software manuals close at hand. When you buy
something new, be sure to write down—preferably inside the
manual—the date of purchase and any confirmation,
activation codes, or account numbers that you might need if
you contact their customer support. Keep all original disks
in the event that you have to reinstall a program. Many
times, the troubleshooting chapter will have the answer to
your questions.
 
Next, check the Website of the manufacturer of the
equipment which is causing trouble. Usually this, too, will
have an extensive troubleshooting or solutions area or,
perhaps, a frequently asked questions (FAQ) area. Major
manufacturers also have users' forums, which can either be
accessed from the Website or found through a search engine.
Another way to find relevant discussion groups is to go to
http://www.google.com and click the Groups button. One
forum and source of information for Windows users is
http://www.annoyances.org, but remember that the postings
are not necessarily from people who really know what
they're doing. Since it's free, however, it's worth
consulting before you contact someone who charges by the
minute. For an article by AARP on User Groups assistance
with computer problems, go to
http://www.aarp.org/computers-features/Articles/a2004-04-13-comptech-usergroups.html.
 
If the manual or company Website don't seem to have what
you need, try using Google or a comparable search engine.
Type the key words of your problem - or the actual error
message your are getting—into a search engine. You might
even find a whole Website dealing with the problem you're
having.
 
The following Websites offer technical support 24 hours a
day. Some are free and some are not. A few offer a monthly
or annual service option that is significantly cheaper per
minute than for a one-time call:
 
 
International Technical Support Links:
 
Technical Support for U.K: http://www.uktsupport.co.uk/
 
Technical Support for Asia:
http://asia.dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/
Business_to_Business/Computers/Services/Technical_Support/
 
 
 
 
 
 
The following site provides many additional links for
getting technical help with your computer:
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ © 2004 Elizabeth
H. Cottrell. All rights reserved worldwide.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Elizabeth H.
Cottrell is a home-based entrepreneur, freelance technical
writer, and owner of Riverwood Technologies, a desktop
publishing company in Maurertown, Virginia. She is
currently a staff writer and editor for IAHBE.
 
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