September 21, 2004

The VOIP Insurrection

Or - why we should stop protecting the incumbent telcos (SBC)

Daniel Berninger:

The $3 billion dollar budget at Bell Laboratories did not include a single project addressing the use of data networks to transport voice when VocalTec Communications released InternetPhone in February 1995. As of 2004, every project at the post-divestiture AT&T Labs and Lucent Technologies Bell Labs reflects the reality of voice over Internet Protocol. Every major incumbent carrier, and the largest cable television providers, in the United States has announced a VoIP program. And even as some upstart carriers have used VoIP to lower telephony prices dramatically, even more radical innovators threaten to lower the cost of a phone call to zero—to make it free.

The VoIP insurrection over the last decade marks a milestone in communication history no less dramatic than the arrival of the telephone in 1876. We know data networks and packetized voice will displace the long standing pre-1995 world rooted in Alexander Graham Bell's invention. It remains uncertain whether telecom's incumbent carriers and equipment makers will continue to dominate or even survive as the information technology industry absorbs voice as a simple application of the Internet.

Posted by James Zellmer at September 21, 2004 12:10 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Technology