First, Vonage announces free overseas long distance is included in my $24.95 per month all-you-can-eat to select countries (and my bride is in London so the timing was unusually perfect) and then today Skype announces free SkypeOut (calling from Skype to landlines) is free in the US and Canada.
I had some serious issues with Vonage in the first few months of this year. Finally I ran some tests on my Roadrunner cable connection and wasn’t pleased with the throughput. After talking with tech support, they send out a tech who replaces a filter at the pole and my cable modem, and the connection has been fabulous ever since.
A week ago I was in the Santa Cruz mountains outside San Francisco without cell service. My hosts had a solid internet connection with Wifi so I headed to a quiet corner each day to call my bride via my Skype account. Without it, I would’ve been reimbursing my hosts for unknown telephony charges. (Amusingly, I used a pair of iPod earbuds and a microphone from my M-Audio Microtrack recorder to make my calls).
With more companies building voice over internet protocol (VoIP) into their applications, demand should continue to increase and the use of landline or mobile telephony carriers reduced. Be interesting to see what happens with packet shaping by internet service providers (to reduce quality of service for competing voice services running on their networks) as well as what might happen to costs on voice transports.