TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: An Explosive Year for VOIP

An Explosive Year for VOIP

Lisa Minter (
Fri, 26 Nov 2004 18:24:09 -0500,1759,1732544,00.asp

By Ellen Muraskin

Remember 2004 as the year that VOIP finally penetrated mass consumer
consciousness, as friends in normal walks of life began to gain a dim
awareness of the stuff I write about.

Give the lion's share of credit to Vonage. Jeff Citron's ad budget
bought him banners on such general-interest sites as, as well
as space on all of the techie online hangouts. Covad aired commercials
for its hosted business VOIP on prime-time television.

Cable companies did likewise with their consumer VOIP (voice over IP)
offerings, and even the traditional telcos -- both regional Bells and
the long-distance triumverate -- were forced to follow suit this year,
igniting a consumer price war.

Perhaps equally important, VOIP adapters started taking up shelf space
at stores such as Best Buy, Circuit City, Frye's Electronics and
Staples, bundled together with service. Service providers also started
marketing through e-tailers.

Give credit, too, to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission),
whose hands-off policy on VOIP regulation encouraged more providers to
enter the marketplace, and early entrants to expand their networks. By
now, we know that whatever regulation is to be imposed on VOIP will be
decided at the federal level. But we still don't know exactly what
those rules will be -- or how much they will force prices to rise.

Full story at:,1759,1732544,00.asp

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