Thursday, December 03, 2009

FCC preparing switch to VOIP

Have you made a phone call using Skype or Google Voice or Vonage? If so, you are using a technology called "VOIP" or "Voice Over Internet Protocal". Basically, it routes calls over the internet instead of over the old hardware networks that cellular and landline calls use. This method is MUCH cheaper - international calls can be made for pennies per minute - although call quality and reliability can be somewhat less because the same networks are used to send e-mail, video, etc. which can hog the bandwidth. Most cable companies who offer their own telephone service are using VOIP technology.

Apparently, the FCC is ready to consider doing away with hardware-switch network entirely and move all phone calls onto VOIP. This could be a huge (and mostly positive) change for voice communication, as VOIP networks are much more flexible, cheaper, and merge voice, video, and textual information easily. And did I mention how much cheaper they are?

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