incrediBILL - 8:53 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)
So Comcast sends me a new modem to install which controls my internet access and VOIP.
That's your first mistake, getting VOIP as your primary phone. I've had a copper-pair landline my entire life and with a couple of minor exceptions, the landline basically never goes down. However, the cable service and more importantly the internet aspect goes offline a lot. More frequently than any device tasked with being the basis of making a 911 phone call should ever go offline. Granted, in the last few years the internet has been more stable than ever before, finally, but I still wouldn't trust it as my only line of communication.
My father-in-law always wants to switch to get the cheaper VOIP rates but only calls to kvetch about it when his internet is down, to which I constantly point out that he wouldn't have a phone now either :)
Being in an earthquake zone I know the hard way that when they strike about the only thing left working is the landline as once the electricity goes offline, so does your routers, modems and VOIP phones unless you have a UPS on all that gear, which I have. Don't know if the cable company supplies their own power like the phone company does, but eventually the landline phone is always the last utility left running. Even the cell phone towers need power, assuming they're still standing, and your phone battery will eventually die unless you have a car recharger and who knows how long the cell towers stay online in a long term power outage.
Just something to consider that you may be giving up your only real lifeline.