Remote Forwarding Landline Number

I know I have asked this question here before, but thought maybe technology has possibly caught up and someone will have a better idea for me.

I have Comcast for my internet and landline phone. For 10 years, I have had to have a separate company to remote forward my old Bellsouth number onto the Comcast number as it has been my business phone number for 25 years. It was MGC, then Windstream and finally Talk America as they kept getting shuffled around and bought out. Now Talk America is apparently going out of business and Comcast told me that they cannot take the Bellsouth number. Wondering if any techie brains here, might have a good option for keeping that number as the way I’ve been doing it for the last 20 years or so…?

Thanks for any help,

Amy B

Hi @amyb9,

As a starting point, what are the area code and prefix (first six digits) for the referenced business number? To protect your privacy, please don’t share the entire number.

404-266

Hi @amyb9,

Please pardon what may sound like an impertinent question, however, what is Comcast’s reason for not being able to take the number? The number is in the Atlanta rate center. Comcast should be able to accept it.

Otherwise, is the goal to continue forwarding to your current Comcast number or are you in the market for a service provider that would take the number?

Talk America is who has been remote forwarding it, but they are going out of business in a month. There are no other providers except for AT&T according to customer service. In other words, not sure why there are no other service providers anymore. And if there is another way to save that number, then that’s what I’m looking for.

Hi @amyb9,

I understand you’re currently using Talk America for remote call forwarding to your current Comcast number. So, one question is are you looking for a provider to continue the RCF arrangement or would you prefer a provider that would actually provide service to the number without the need to forward it.

Frankly, whomever is telling you AT&T (who acquired BellSouth) is the only option in the Atlanta rate center has no idea what they’re talking about. There are a multitude of exchanges in the Atlanta rate center (it’s huge) and a multitude of telephone carriers serving that rate center.

Would you be willing to share the first six digits of your Comcast number (again not the whole number)?

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Well the remote call forwarding has been working and they were charging $15 a month which isn’t bad. I also have a great deal with Comcast currently, so not sure how affordable switching it all will be.

The Comcast number is 770-676

Hi @amyb9,

Your Comcast number is in the Atlanta Northeast rate center, which is different from the Atlanta rate center, so perhaps, that’s why Comcast is telling you it can’t port the 404-266 number. Actually, they can but maybe not where they provide your cable service.

I have additional questions for you. Currently, you’re using Talk America for RCF. Do you need to be able to make outbound calls showing the 404-266 number as Caller ID? Or, do you just need to be able to receive calls forwarded from that number?

Correct. That was a big problem when I got Comcast, so had to sign up for the rcf.

Just need to receive calls forwarded from that as that 404 number has been on my business cards etc. for 25 years.

Sorry, more questions. Talk America provided RCF for a flat $15/month with no outbound per minute charges (call forwarding is effectively an outbound call)? If so, was there a cap on minutes?

Hi @amyb9,

I’m sorry for all the questions. I know of multiple services that might be used for remote call forwarding or for receiving calls directly.

For RCF, however, I don’t know of a service that does it for a flat fee, so would need to know roughly how many minutes per month are used to make a quality suggestion.

Using a service to receive calls to your 404-266 number can be done for a flat fee but probably would require additional hardware.

I use this service: https://www.voipo.com/cloudnumbers.php

There is no cap on the minutes, I’m just paying for the service of having that number connected to the Comcast number. Essentially all the call are through the Comcast number which is the 770 number, not the 404.

Hi @amyb9,

Here’s my dilemma. I don’t know of a service that does call forwarding (remote or otherwise) for a flat fee. When forwarding calls from one number to another, there are actually two legs to the call. The inbound call to your 404 number for example, and also an outbound call to your 770 number for example.

Generally, for service providers outbound calls tend to be more expensive than inbound calls, so while inbound calls are often available for flat fees, outbound calls not so much.

To try and keep this as simple as possible, I think VoIPO might be a good choice. Their charge is $3 per month for the number if paid annually or $5 per month if paid monthly. That gets you 500 inbound minutes (the calls coming into your 404 number. Outbound calls (for the forwarding to your 770 number) are metered at a penny per minute. If those 500 inbound minutes (a little over 8 hours) are sufficient the corresponding charge for 500 outbound minutes would be $5. So, if a bit over 8 hours of call volume is sufficient, you can do what you’ve been doing with Talk America with VoIPO for $8 to $10 per month.

Another option is Google Voice but it’s a hassle to move a landline number to Google Voice. That said, once there, Google Voice was built for call forwarding and would be free. When I say getting a landline number to Google Voice is a hassle, have a look here to see what I mean: Transferring a Republic Number to a Service Provider That Refuses Landlines. I wrote the article for folks wanting to move their Republic number to a service (like Google Voice) that doesn’t accept landlines but the process applies to any landline number.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Republic’s Extend Home adapter. This, however, wouldn’t be a remote call forwarding solution. Instead, you’d move the 404 number to Republic (which would require a second Republic cell phone) and use the adapter to receive calls to your 404 number directly without forwarding them to your Comcast number. More on Extend Home is linked here: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Extend Home Adapter.

As you can see, there are multiple options available to you, however, all get technical.

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Hi @amyb9,

Actually, thinking a bit more, Republic could be a potential call forwarding solution. It would still require a second Republic cell phone but not the Extend Home Adapter.

With an older legacy phone (if you have or are able to acquire one), Republic’s charge could be as little as $5/month for the WiFi only plan. A newer Republic phone using a My Choice plan would be $15/month.

Once setup, you’d basically use Republic’s Voicemail Forwarding to send calls to your 770 Comcast number, then shut the Republic phone off.

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Oboy, all sounding way more complicated, unless a VOIP could actually take that Bellsouth number, that doesn’t always seem to be possible for whatever reason. I could check I guess on Monday.

I heard Google Voice could not take the Bellsouth landline number.

If I have to go to Republic for this, I probably could just give up my cell number? I’ve had that number for about 18 years, but then I guess I would lose all the texts etc. from the cell number. Or maybe I can use my old G3 for the $5 a month plan?

Many VoIP service providers will be able to accept that old BellSouth number.

Google Voice doesn’t take any landline numbers, which is why it’s necessary to jump through the hoops outlined in the Wiki article I linked to get a landline number to Google Voice.

This could indeed work as once you’ve activated the phone, moved your 404 number to Republic (presuming it can be) and setup voicemail forwarding, you’d be able to power off the G3 and not actively use it. You may verify the 404 number would transfer to Republic here: Make the Switch to Republic Wireless Today – Republic Wireless.

So looks like the number will port to Republic and then you are saying to just get it activated to the G3 but since I’m remote forwarding to my cell number? Or the Comcast number? And won’t need to actually use the G3…yes?

Hi @amyb9,

The first step is to reactivate the G3 with a new number. You’ll do so as described by Republic here: How to Activate a New Number on an Existing Account with a 1.0 or 2.0 Phone – Republic Help.

If I remember correctly, you’ll have to activate on the $10 refund plan, then schedule a downgrade to the WIFi only plan. That’s done using the Republic app as described by Republic here: How to Change Your Plan – Republic Help. Please be certain to follow the guidance under the “Republic Refund (2.0) Plan” drop-down menu.

Once the G3 is up and running with a new number, you’ll arrange the transfer of your 404 number to Republic. Guidance for that is linked here: How to Transfer Your Number to Republic Wireless – Republic Help.

When the transfer of your 404 number is complete, you’ll setup voicemail forwarding using your 770 Comcast number as the target. Here’s the how to on that: How to Enable Voicemail Forwarding – Republic Help.

When all is said and done, voicemail forwarding on your old G3 will effectively replace the remote call forwarding you are currently using. You’ll want to keep the G3 powered off, so that calls to your 404 number are immediately forwarded to your 770 number.

I appreciate this is a lot, however, if you take it one step at a time, I’m confident you’ll get there.

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Oh dear ■■■, nothing is easy is it?.. But thank you for all of that…

I can see me procrastinating all this as it makes my head hurt… so much for technology making your life easier.

I’ll give it some thought over the weekend to see which makes sense but again appreciate all of your help!

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