Wednesday, February 14, 2007

USA Today on VOIP

Want to see what the mainstream press thinks about VoIP? Read it at the USA Today.

Until recently, Internet telephony was mostly used by computer geeks to make free, albeit low-quality, "calls" between PCs with special software and funky PC headsets. In recent years, however, VoIP has begun to gain traction with the masses thanks to advances in technology, a shifting competitive landscape and the spread of high-speed broadband lines, necessary for Bell-quality calling.

Consumers are the biggest winners. As VoIP moves into the mainstream, big phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon will be forced to sweeten their offers, Joe Laszlo, a senior analyst at JupiterResearch, predicts. That, in turn, will pressure cable TV companies, already pushing hard to sell VoIP, to improve their bundles. "So even if you don't switch over to VoIP," says Laszlo, "this new competitive market will probably get you some benefits."

My personal favorite misconception: "Luckily for consumers, there now are plenty of broadband choices, and more are on the way."

The net effect: The bloodier the cable-phone battle become, the faster both sides are deploying broadband. About 9% of all U.S. households now buy broadband, estimates TeleGeography Research. Fanned in part by competitive pressure, that number is expected to reach 20% by 2010.

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