VoIP Commentary

I ran into this essay recently on the Internet. It talks about VOIP technology. Kind of interesting.

Here are some of my Random Thoughts on VoIP:

One of my work colleagues is currently using Vonage. He likes the service, but finds that it is very sensitive to network latency and throughput. In fact, he found a noticeable degradation in voice quality when one of those Internet worms hit recently because of all the network traffic congestion. This is not something that you would think of as a problem, but as you move to VoIP the problem becomes real.

A problem that I have with VoIP is reliability. The reality is that in my experience, data service is treated like TV service rather than like a telephone. (Note I use Comcast as my provider so it might make sense. The same argument was true when I had DSL providers like Verizon, Speakeasy and Northpoint.) What this means in my experience is that downtime is to be expected and tolerated. If you have an outage, the carrier will apologize and say that they are doing what the can to fix it, but that they cannot give a specific timeframe. This is a major issue for VoIP. Are you really willing to lose your phone service for an indeterminant amount of time? (Not to mention what happens if the power goes out. Your screwed with VoIP unlike POTS where everything still works.)

IMO, the issues above and particularly the latter one are near term deal breakers for VoIP. I will be happy to play with it and experiment in general, but until these issues are resolved, I will never fully migrate to a VoIP service.

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