Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Five Reasons Why He Doesn’t Have VoIP: And More Than Five Reasons Why He’s Wrong

Well dang....Russell did it again. Russell Shaw that is....of the IP Telephony blog for ZDNet. No wonder Russell is one of my favorites when it comes to VoIP news and such.

Anyway...I'd read an article in PC magazine which was rather out in left field in it's criticism of IP Telephony. I was going to comment here but good old Russell already put something together I couldn't hope to improve on. So....without further adieu here's Russell's very much on target counterarguments to the article:


I’ve just finished reading an article in PC Magazine in which columnist Lance Ulanoff lists five reasons why he doesn’t have VoIP.

Let’s go over his "issues" one by one:

*If you switch to VoIP, you can’t keep your legacy phone number. Well, in more cases than Lance cares to cite, you can.

Lance also has problems with what happens when you can’t port your old number. Apparently, you will disappear into a black hole. Well, dude, three pieces of advice. Try to find a VoIP service that lets you import your legacy telephone number. Failing that, most ILECs will let you keep your old number as a voice-mail only service, and only rings in the switching office. I do that with Qwest, and pay less than $20 a month. Third, changing phone numbers is a great reason to reach out and let your contacts know!

*911 Is not always Included. Lance is right, of course, but that’s changing. If you are going to be mobile, chances are you’ll have a cell phone anyway.

*If your Internet access goes down, so does your VoIP connection. First of all, how often does this really happen? Yet another reason for cell backup.

*"Many VoIP services are tied to semimonopolistic regional cable companies." Huh? New numbers out today from broadband equipment provider Sandvine indicate there are more than 1,100 VoIP providers. Some 500 are centered in the U.S.

As far as cable companies, there are only a handful with substantial regional presences- and some, including Comcast and Adelphia, barely offer VoIP or don’t offer it at all. Five major cable systems that offer VoIP? That’s around 1 percent of the total.

Lance adds that attempting to block VoIP access is something all these cable companies have tried to do. There have only been a few instances of same. Trust me- if there were more, the VoIP access providers would scream loudly at anyone who would listen. And we’d hear it and report (as we have).

*VoIP is insecure. He makes it sound endemic, and only getting worse. Not saying the problem doesn’t exist, but this follows the line of thinking that doesn’t mediate especially well between what can happen and what will happen. Reminds me of an old girlfriend who refused to buy anything online because she saw a news report about online identity theft.



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