I recently had a long chat with Jim Miller, Race’s VP of Sales/Marketing. I hadn’t realized that Race’s telephony option was a true telephony service and NOT a Voice Over IP (VOIP) solution.
What this means is that the RSF Connect phone service supplied by Race is going to be better than the AT&T phone line(s) you now have in every which way. Crystal clear voice, cheaper, and highly reliable.
One of the benefits of an AT&T phone line is that it does not go down in a power outage. But neither will a Race phone line since the line is battery backed up at your house (with an 8 hour battery – you can add your own power backup for more time if you wish) and, of course, battery and generator backed up at the RSF Connect central office. Unlike an AT&T line, you will never have fuzz, static or cross talk on the line since it gets converted to a full digital telephony signal in your home router, and transferred to the Packet Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) in Race’s Los Angeles data center.
Race phone lines are also better than VOIP lines. I’ve had experience with traditional VOIP providers like Vonage, AXvoice, Google Voice, Skype, and What’s App. Some of these are OK, some are awful (echos, delays, and distortion), but none are great. They also have the problem of not being able to work with Fax machines.
It turns out that Race is a more complex Internet Service Provider than I had originally thought. As Miller said, they were always a telecom company first, and a data comm company second. In addition to offering a true telephone service, they also offer dedicated telecom circuits for businesses than need ultra secure communications. For instance, a bank might want a dedicated point to point connection and Race can be part of that solution.
The bottom line is that I can’t think of a reason why anyone should stay with their copper AT&T phone lines. You’ll not only save a bundle of money every month, it’ll also be much better. Indeed, since I have two phone lines, I’ll almost save enough every month on my phone bills to pay for the RSF Connect monthly Internet bill: I pay about about $125/month for two AT&T phones lines vs about $30/month for two Race phone lines (including all taxes and fees).
Race installs their phone lines by simply disconnecting the AT&T copper line at the MPOE (side of your house), and connecting their line into a working telephone jack. This then supplies dial tone throughout your house. A word of warning: To ensure that you can keep your old telephone number, do not cancel your AT&T phone service until Race tells you to do so.
If your security alarm uses the phone line to contact the monitoring center, you should contact your alarm company to see if anything else needs to be changed. If your alarm panel has something called line seizure (which allows the panel to contact the monitoring station even if you are using your phone line and/or the phone is off hook), then your new Race telephone wiring will need a slight modification which the alarm company can easily do.
Alternatively, newer alarm panels use the Internet to contact the monitoring center, and some also have cellular as a primary or as a backup.
Installation Update From BOD Meeting
Arnold Keene gave an update at today’s Board meeting. As of August 19th, 21 houses were connected. As of today, they are still just installing in the first Jacaranda (blue) zone from the RSF map on this page.