How to shop for a Home Telephone

Vistitors and students have a variety of telephone purchase choices when arriving in Canada. An old-fashioned land-line home-telephone along with telephone equipment can be purchased, rented or packaged with a contract time period.

Consumers are required to pay an installation or activation fee to begin using the local telephone service. Usually a monthly fee is charged for unlimited calling to telephone numbers within a local calling area. In Canada and the USA local monthly access rates vary from about $20 to 45 dollars. The networks of telephone service providers are connected together so that all local calls are seamless when calling within local networks.

Local telephone service competition provides consumers with a choice of features, services and prices that can be designed for specific needs. Local telephone services include: 9-1-1 emergency service, message relay service for the hearing impaired, billing information for the visually impaired, access to local networks by long distance companies.

Optional local telephone services include such items as call display, call waiting, call forwarding, no answer or busy call transfers, call blocking, conference calling, voice mail, and access to 800/900 phone lines.

Consumers have to ask about the prices for each feature or service. What one-time initial service or activation fees are charged, what regular monthly service charges occur and what are the cancellation fees or special fees to add or cancel telephone features.

In Canada the big national telephone service providers are Bell and Telus with many smaller local phone companies providing services in smaller geographic areas. The big companies have service depots where consumers can activate numbers at the store, purchase or rent their phone equipment and pay their monthly telephone bill.

Consumers have to qualify based on credit for local telephone service. Sometimes a large deposit is required to activate a telephone number with a local telephone service provider. New immigrants and students are shocked when the phone company says we have no credit history for you and to qualify for a phone you have to deposit $500.

Many cable companies are now offering home phone service through their fibre networks. Most of this service is VOIP based internet phone service.

There are also independant Internet Phone service providers that are separate from the big local phone companies and cable companies. They offer VOIP home telephone services either through the phone lines or cable fibre. These services allow you to take your internet phone with you when you travel.

When making your home telephone purchasing decision - you have to decide - regular wire land line or cable based fibre and do I want anologue, digital or internet home phone service.

See the articles about cell phones, voip phones and internet phones. If you want to save money there is new technology that allows your cell phone to call through the internet as a VOIP phone.

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