VoIP Prices Dropping Further And Further

from the looking-pretty-good dept

I still haven’t signed up for a Vonage-style VoIP service, but as the prices keep dropping, it’s getting increasingly difficult to resist. I have been playing with some of the various free offerings, though, like Skype and FWD. FWD (or a partner, it’s a little unclear) set up a system where you could connect your FWD number to a regular phone number (in Washington State) for free. So, now, if you call my particular area code 360 phone number, my computer will ring (or, if I set it up, my IP phone). All for free. It appears that all the various VoIP players are realizing there’s not much to distinguish one from another, and prices are dropping like crazy. The free services still limit what you can do, but it sounds like you can get a fairly full-featured pay service for around $20/month. For a while, I was surprised that the established telcos weren’t playing more heavily in this space (even as slow as they move), but now I’m guessing that part of their strategy is to just wait and let all the independent VoIP players battle each other to death. Then, in the end, the carriers will determine who the winners are, and either buy them up, or try to copy the service directly. Whether or not that plan will work is a different question altogether. In the meantime, many are still waiting to see if Washington DC throws a wrench in all of this by regulating VoIP players and requiring them to pay all sorts of fees that will get passed along via higher prices.

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Comments on “VoIP Prices Dropping Further And Further”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

For $21 a month to Verizon for a basic phone line, and http://www.kissld.com for long distance, I get $0.03 per minute calling to anywhere in the US and Canada. Int’l calls are the cheapest I’ve seen, too.

Unless VoIP is really slick and does the same job, you just can’t beat this deal, especially if you’re keeping your existing landline.

I get nothing from bringing up kissld.com.

John Bartley (user link) says:

One little problem

Voice over IP’s wonderful, but there’s one little problem in the home… 911.

VOIP providers _cannot_ direct calls to the emergency priority queue. Instead, they go to a non-emergency number, and if you like waiting for 911 now on Saturday night, wait ’til you see how long you wait on a VOIP call.

Then, too, there’s the issue of power failure calls. Broadband relies on electrical power to not only the router in yourhouse, but every amplifier along the way, (plus, for DSL, the equipment in the CO and the lines from the CO to the POP for the broadband provider). If power fails _anywhere_ along thoat connection, you have no phone service.

Broadband providers also do not have the regulatory requirements to get a line back in service when it fails. Want to wait for three weeks with no phone after a hurricane or ice storm? No problem, as far as your cable modem provider’s concerned, because all they’re required to do is to credit your account for the period you’re without service.

Broadband providers such as cable companies don’t have even the thin resources of a telco, and DSL falls to the bottom of the list of priorities when there are major outages.

So, if you don’t care if you have phone service in an emergency, go VOIP.

John Bartley (user link) says:

Re: One little problem

Forgot to mention… telco’s phone service runs over the 48v provided from huge honkin’ batteries in the ‘Battery Room’ of the central office. Before I moved on to IT, I useta service those muthas, and they will definately keep a phone system up for long enough for even the most funble-fingered choom to get the diesel (or propane) genny started.

Is your broadband power-protected _every_step_of_the_way_? Ask your provider. ROFL.

Reality Check says:

Re: Re: Wow, looks like some traditional telecom shills ha

Hey John Telco Shill, er.. I mean Bartley. Could you be ANY more transparently an exec/employee/shill of a traditional telco? I’m thinking SBC — based on the arrogant smug tone.

VoIP is GREAT – I love saving money on long distance that would otherwise go to GREEDY telcos like SBC, which is one of the most GREEDY and REPREHENSIBLE corporation$ on Earth.

VOIP is here stay – and I’m gonna enjoy watching companies like SBC whine and moan and finally go DOWN!!!

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