Options for Phone Service at Andy Creek
Several methods are available at Andy Creek for cabin owners to have phone service:
1) Traditional "land-line" telephone service at Andy Creek is provided by CenturyLink (Legacy Qwest).
2) Cell phone service
Three providers have service that is generally acceptable in the Andy Creek cabin tract: Verizon, US Cellular, and Sprint.
It's not unusual to have signal strength weakness, depending upon where your cell phone is located inside your cabin. If you have a specific location that generally has adequate signal strength.....for instance, on a window-sill in one particular cabin room, then there is an option which may work well for you. Some cabin-owners have purchased a wireless set of 1-5 standard wireless phones which have "bluetooth" capability. This function allows "pairing" of up to 2 cell phones with the wireless phones. This allows you to keep the cell phone located in one location (perhaps on a window sill while plugged in to the power-adapter). When a phone call is received, the wireless phones will ring and you may answer and converse using the wireless handset phones. These phones are readily available.
Cell phone signal strength may be able to be improved by the use of special amplified or directional antennas. Gene Ritnour, from the Bootjack cabin tract, is currently using one of these devices in tandem with his cell phone.
3) VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol)
Almost all "land-line" phone service providers offer a VoIP monthly phone plan. These phones utilize the internet to provide "land-line" capability with no monthly charge. One of our Andy Creek cabin owners is using a version of VoIP phone called "Ooma". Ooma generally costs between $150 - $200 for the device. Unlimited local and domestic long distance calling is free (though you pay $3.50 a month in taxes and fees) and international rates are very low. Premium subscribers can opt to pay an extra $9.99 a month for extra features such as three-way conferencing, voicemail forwarding to e-mail or your cell phone, as well as a 2nd phone line. Using Ooma requires an internet connection at your cabin. A number of our cabin-owners have DSL internet service provided by CenturyLink (Legacy Qwest). Costco and Best-Buy frequently have discounts on Ooma VoIP phones. The Ooma system is highly rated by Consumer Reports as one of the best VoIP systems available. Another VoIP phone is through Vonage. One consideration with internet-based VoIP phones is that they require internet service. Most internet service requires 120 volts electric power. Your typical "land-line" phone is independent of electric power lines, and will work during power outages. Cell phones will also work during power outages, however. Number "porting" may be available for your current Andy Creek phone number....i.e. you may be able to keep your present phone number.
4) "Smart phone"
A smart phone is a mobile phone built on a mobile operating system, with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than a standard feature phone.
Some of the smart phones include Android (Google), Blackberry (RIM), IPhone (Apple), LinuxPalm/WebOS (Palm/HP), Symbian (Nokia), Windows Mobile/Phone (Microsoft), Bada (Samsung). It's possible that some smart phone models may not work in our area.
5) Satellite phone
These phones are expensive to purchase and operate. This method of telephone service is primarily used when other forms of telephone service are not available.