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Is VoIP available for me to use now?
Companies like Vonage, VoicePulse and Packet8 are already offering flat monthly fees for their VoIP services meaning you can call anywhere in country (sometimes even to other selected countries around world) and only ever pay one flat monthly fee.
Vonage offer a service for $24.99 a month that allows you to call anywhere in US or Canada. They also offer similar plans for small businesses.
Are there any disadvantages to VoIP?
VoIP, as a technology, is still in itís infancy and new developments are being found every day. However, there are limitations to service and technology which need to be addresses before it can become a complete replacement for your standard phone line.
Because Internet knows no geographic boundaries it means that, for example, calling emergency services would not necessarily put you through to your local emergency dispatch centre.
In addition, you canít send or receive faxes and you canít route traditional modems, alarm systems or satellite systems through your VoIP connection, because they require access to a voice grade phone line. For moment VoIP is a compliment to your traditional phone line, rather than a replacement, until these problems can be ironed out.
The advent of Internet and improved telephone technology has seen introduction of VoIP. It means you can make phone calls through your broadband connection; this in turn means that for a set monthly fee you can call anywhere in your country and selected international countries for as long as required and only pay one flat monthly fee.
The advantages of VoIP are still significant for homes and business users alike. Big businesses are already saving substantial money by installing IP networks and using VoIP protocol to transfer voice data. This essentially makes calls themselves free, only having to pay for Internet connection and monthly VoIP fee.
VoIP looks like itís here to stay. As technology rolls out, itís impact can only become greater.
© 2005 Nick Carter
Nick Carter is editor for http://www.voice-over-ip-insider.com , a key web resource for VOIP information.