12:56 PM

Abandoned SunRocket Subscribers Find New VoIP Dial Tones

SunRocket's subscribers have found several alternate VoIP service providers happy to sign them up.

Defunct VoIP provider SunRocket's subscribers were scrambling to find new telecom service providers Wednesday, and they found several alternate suppliers happy to sign them up.

"We're waiving activation fees," said a sales representative at 8x8 Inc., which was doing a brisk business signing up SunRocket subscribers left in the lurch when its service ceased abruptly Monday. "SunRocket's phones already work" with 8x8 service.

Other options range from Vonage Holdings, the largest independent VoIP supplier, to smaller providers, which all seemed to have plans in place to attract SunRocket subscribers.

Vonage is offering two free months of service for former SunRocket subscribers. "Upon request, potential customers can rest easy knowing qualified phone numbers can be transferred over to Vonage and expedited at no charge," Vonage said in a press release. Vonage itself is not without its own problems; it recently lost a patent lawsuit with telephone company Verizon Communications.

Nuvio trumpeted its rapid conversion process in an appeal to SunRocket subscribers. Nuvio's automated signup system "is in direct response to the customer feedback that we have received from new Nuvio customers," said Joe Woodbury, Nuvio's director of marketing, in a statement. "Our systems were built to take this kind of user additions, from the customer signup process to our supporting infrastructure."

Nuvio is offering a "Soft Landing" package for former SunRocket customers; the one-year residential plan is priced at $199.95 a year. Nuvio CEO Jason P. Talley said his company had been unable to engage SunRocket in meaningful dialog over transfer of VoIP customers.

Media reports stated that SunRocket had spent more than $80 million in venture capital. But the VCs wouldn't invest any more in the operation, which had more than 200,000 subscribers. One unconfirmed report had 8x8 negotiating to take over some of SunRocket's operations; calls to 8x8 headquarters in California were not returned early Wednesday morning.

Firms working to handle the distribution of SunRocket's remaining assets to creditors include Sherwood Partners and Doll Capital, an early investor in SunRocket.

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