Alan Percy : The SIP Invite
Alan Percy
| Observations by Alan D. Percy on VoIP enabling technology, industry and our personal reach for success.


Getting ready for Internet Telephony

August 27, 2007

With less than two weeks until Internet Telephony, we here at AudioCodes are putting the final touches on a number of interesting and informative sessions and we'd love to see you participate:

“SIP Trunking From 10,000 Feet”
Speaker: Alan D. Percy, Director of Business Development, AudioCodes.
Session Code:SIP-04
Date: Monday 9/10/07
Time: 12:30-1:15pm   “AudioCodes Executive Showcase - Taking your application to the next level”
Speaker: Alan D. Percy, Director of Business Development, AudioCodes.

Still getting ready...

September 6, 2007

Most of us are headed to LA on Sunday and time is running out for those last minute presentation preparations.   This week has included a flurry of conference calls with the various panelists, making sure that our logistics and presentations are ready.

I'm real excited about the session we are preparing on SIP Trunking:

SIP-04: “SIP Trunking From 10,000 Feet”

Travels to LA for Internet Telephony

September 10, 2007

Sunday was a busy day flying to LA for Internet Telephony in the LA Convention Center.  Flying to LA is always interesting - especially when you get upgraded and end up in first class.  The guy in front of me wore his sunglasses the whole way to LA, even in the dark while nother guy was clearly with his agent reviewing scripts.  (I was just catching up on my reading with a stack of BCR and VON magazines.)

My plan for Monday is to spend most of the day in the SIP track.  See:  IP Communications Conference - Conferences#SIP-01   I'll be listening closely to the other sessions and taking notes that I'll share later today and tomorrow.


A look back at 2007 and thinking ahead to 2008

December 20, 2007

A couple recognitions from the last 12 months:

AudioCodes' Break Free Campaign (see: - way back in early summer, we were on a conference bridge discussing how to create some new activity with the application developer community, trying to show them how they could abandon their legacy APIs and make the move to SIP+MSCML for their new applications.  We devised a plan that included a combination of web-based advertising, webinars and live speaking slots to introduce the concept and show some specific example applications.  With the fantastic help of the Marcom team at AudioCodes, TMC, Paracon and Alliance Systems we blew the lid off our original plan, making by far the most successful community development program that I have ever experienced. 

Weak dollar harming economy - not in Buffalo

March 13, 2008

This story is about unintended consequences - most notably how the weak US Dollar affects those of us that live on the border with Canada. 

This last week has been particularly difficult for those of us who are frequent travelers out of the Buffalo Airport.  It's seems the perfect storm has hit the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) and it really messed up my travel plans earlier this week: 

Keeping in Touch

May 5, 2008

I'm feeling guilty - it has been weeks since my last posting to the "The SIP Invite".  This spring has been a particularly busy time of the year for me and unfortunately, blogging took the hit when allocating time/resources.

With that, I'm making a promise to get regular weekly messages on this blog, keeping you informed of new developments in SIP and the market.

Staying in touch.....

Verizon Fios - an update

October 17, 2008

Okay, time to update you on how my migration over to Verizon Fios has gone so far.

Just a little background on the situation here: I work primarily from my home office in Orchard Park, NY in a neighborhood that was built in the mid-70's (pre cable and definitely pre- fiber-to-the-home aka FTTH).  When moving in seven years ago, I had then-Adelphia cable broadband, Verizon wireline phone and DirecTV for television.  A bit of a mish-mash of disconnected parts, but it worked (most of the time).  
  • Here in snow country, we regularly lost DirecTV due to ice and snow on the dish.
  • The long cable run between my house and the nearest telephone pole causes problems with the broadband internet incurring day-long outages that seemed to stymie Adelphia.  
  • The aging analog phone lines I used for both my wife's and my home office were noisy, which interfered with our frequent long conference calls and webinars.
  • To save money on the infrequently-used home phone I switched it over to Vonage about a year ago, which I must say has worked out really well.
So, when the Verizon trucks rolled through town this winter and installed the conduit and fiber infrastructure for Fios, I was literally first on the block to sign-up.

Installation started with broadband internet and two phone lines.  This went pretty smooth with mounting the Optical Network Termination (ONT) in the basement and a WiFi-enabled router.  Cut-over to the new 20Mbps broadband was literally as easy as moving an RJ-45 plug from one router to the other.  Frankly the hardest part was untangling all the old wires and moving them to the new router!  After a reboot of the computers in the house and the Vonage gateway, everything was back up and running.

Getting the phone lines configured correctly took a couple calls to Verizon.  I have my office line forward to my cell phone after three rings or if I'm on the phone and it took a couple support reps to understand how to configure the new switch correctly.  End result after one day - faster internet, no more noise on the phone lines and everything is working perfect. 

It took a couple calls to get the guys to come back and bury the fiber-optic cable that laid across my lawn.   Frankly, it was a race between my 13 year-old son that mows our lawn and the Verizon crew.  Was my son going to mow over the cable and cut it to shreds or was Verizon going to bury it first?  Fortunately, Verizon won.

Remember that I was on DirecTV?  I loved the service and the new HD DVR, but we were averaging $85/month and still suffering from weather-related outages.  So when I caught wind that the town of Orchard Park finally signed the franchise agreement with Verizon to allow them to offer FiosTV, guess who called Verizon the same day to order Fios TV service?  Me.

Installation day for the TV started with a really nice technician surveying the coax TV cabling that already ran through my house and making a few quick additions for Fios.  He was able to add a splitter next to the entry point where the four DirecTV cables came from the dish outside and headed out to the three different rooms where we had TVs.  All the old DirecTV set top boxes were pulled out and set aside with new Motorola devices going in their place.  Lots of cables for our HD TV and audio system in the family room - component video, optical audio (5.1) connects between the DVR and my audio receiver. One surprising connection was between the TV cable and a coax jack on the back of the router - I later found out that the STBs use this to access the program guide information and relay purchases back to Verizon.  End of this day - and the TVs all worked and I was ready to figure out the new Motorola set top boxes and DVR features.

Now things get interesting.....

Later that same evening, I turn on the TV, DVR and audio system to find a great picture, but no sound.  Okay, what changed?  Cables are all okay and my receiver is showing the optical input is active, but still no sound!?!  Go to the DVR and start digging through menus - settings - sound - all of a sudden the sound comes back.  But I didn't change anything!?!  Weird.  Next time the DVR gets turned on, same result.  Okay this is screwy.  After doing some trial and error, I find out that upon power-up, the DVR doesn't activate the optical output for sound, you need to go to the menu each time to activate it.  Bug!  Unplug the optical cable on the audio system and live with just stereo sound for now.

Next day - the STB in the basement shows all dashes on the screen and no picture.  Now what?  Unplug, reboot, call Verizon and they send out a technician.  Remember that splitter in the basement?  One of the ports died.  It took him most of an hour to find a .99 broken splitter.

So at this point, I've had three separate visits from Verizon techs and finally have almost everything working, but still learning the ins and outs of the new DVR and STBs.  More on this in the next posting.....

Verizon FiOS TV - Part II

November 1, 2008

Okay, it has been a few weeks since the last post on my FiOS installation and I promised you a review of the newly activated television capabilities.

FiOS TV is installed pretty much like any other cable TV with one big exception - Fiberoptics cable from the central office to the Optical Network Terminator (ONT) in my basement.  From there, it is standard RJ-6 cable-TV coax cable to each of the Motorola Set Top Boxes (STBs).  The data traffic from the STBs goes over the same coax, avoiding a separate Ethernet and/or phone line run to each box (which was required for DirecTV). The installer was able to re-use the existing wiring in my house, which dramatically simplified installation.  

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