Sorry nice try gguruusa but you are wrong! Might want to know people in the field before making assumptions. MagicCrap uses the cheapest interconnects making their phone service very unreliable! The hardware itself is a joke which is prone to failure right out of the packaging.
As far as "Goggle are LESS likely to experience an outage" that is 100% not true it is a well known fact Google is a service offered as is with no support. As such they make a best attempt effort to give users service but if service goes down they will make a best attempt effort to get it up and running ASAP. Unlike PhonePower who has a paying customers base who will vote with they $$$ and will not tolerate unreliable service.
"Interestingly, the prevalence of CELL handsets and towers makes it more reliable than POTS during natural disasters (otherwise, CELL is less reliable than POTS)." Also not true depends where the cell towers are located bud. Guess you have never heard of natural disasters, huh?
Below you will see the homework I did to support said facts which you obviously did not do. :(
Enjoy your cheap phone service bud ;) Us peeps prefer to
pay and have quality phone service that works when we need
The Phone Power network is operating normally at this time.
2011 Year to Date Availability (Updated Monthly)
Service Availability for 2011:
2010 Total Availability
Sigh. Nobody says MagicJack doesn't have its share of problems. It does. Doesn't mean it doesn't have a place. For people who can live with its limitations, it is a fine solution. It lacks features and a support staff, but it is dirt cheap. It does get the job done most of the time.
As to research, just because my conclusions are different doesn't mean I didn't do the homework. Perhaps my analytic skills are better than yours. For the record, ALL carriers use best effort. Magic Jack is not any different than everyone else in that respect. MagicJack's best effort is not the same as others, but it isn't that far off, either. As to Google, you appear to have overlooked a few facts. Did you notice that like PhonePower, Google Voice had no outages for 2011? In fact, I'll wager that in 2010 GoogleVoice's average downtime minute per customer was probably better than PhonePower's...but that is guess work (you'd have to know how many customers were affected by each outage and total customer base). Did you notice that the outages cited in 2010 were for limited market segments? The majority of users had uninterrupted service. Add to your comparison that GoogleVoice serves every area PhonePower does and then plenty more. Do we count those as downtime for PhonePower when comparing the services? The bottom line is that while some areas may have had some minutes of downtime with GoogleVoice in 2010, GoogleVoice was and is exceptionally reliable for the vast majority of users, with service to just about everywhere. Comparing minutes of downtime without any consideration to % of users affected and markets served doesn't adequately describe reliabilty.
All that being said, you are also wrong about which provider(s) I personally use. I don't use either MagicJack or GoogleVoice. At this moment, PhonePower has the right mix of cost and features for me. YMMV.
As to cell towers, reliability, and natural disasters, you don't have a clue what you are talking about. In a significant natural disaster, most forms of communication are disrupted. Additionally, most roads are not navigable due to either damage or debris. Generally, towers and buildings survive intact. It's the connections and external equipment that gets damaged. Repairing a tower generally involves fixing the feed and a limited amount of equipment on property owned by the carrier. Fixing the communications grid involves fixing the feeds and drops to numerous buildings with all kinds of access problems. Does that mean you'll have cell service near your house so that you can call from the comfort of your recliner? No. What it means is that the average person will typically be able to find a spot within a few miles of home where cell service is available long before they have access to a working landline anywhere. Will it be congested and unreliable? Yep. Beats no phone at all.