Ooma launches with White Rabbit beta test.

Ooma launched today with their White Rabbit beta test.
Ooma is getting a lot of action in the blogs of Om Malik and Mike Arrington .

You intrepid blogger has been posting to both of their blogs and was fortunate enought to be selected as one of the White Rabbits.

Ooma is seeking to differentiate itself from the rest of the VoIP field by offering free calls...yes, FREE.
However, there is one small difference. Their gadget that allows you to make these free calls is $399. Plus at present, you must have a landline at your place of installation (our house) for the service to work.
This seems to be contrary to the reason for switching to VoIP.
The company replies that this box gives you the "best of both worlds....the cost savings of VoIP, plus the reliability of a POTS line. This seems to me to be a way to supply 911 without having to actually supply it.
Your local landline would be doing that.
On the face of it, the Ooma box seems to be a "designer level" Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA) with a POTS pass-thru. These are available for $100 or less online.

Doing the math, it would seem that a large portion of the $399 is actually going toward paying for those "free" calls.
Now, don't get me wrong. If you amortize the cost of this device out for a few years, it is less expensive than Vonage, et al.
However, given the recent demise of SunRocket and other firms, one might have a hard time putting all there eggs in a brand new basket.

I'll be offering my evaluation of the unit when it arrives. More as the story develops.

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