VoIP appears to have officially become boring and tired.
First we have the Phone-over-IP players. Vonage is the legitimate pioneer here, but now we have dozens of me-too players. I won’t name them. You know who they are. They all represent themselves as revolutionary, disruptive forces. Well, let’s see. So we give them a solid chunk of our Internet pipe, pay them for the privilege, and get back in return an analog copper pair of wires, to which we can connect a 1970’s phone and it will work, almost as good as it did in the 70’s even. I guess in a P.T. Barnum sort of way, it is pretty revolutionary.
As far as I see it, the primary difference between POIP and 1904 telephony is that we send our check to a different address.
A more disruptive option
So if it’s a truely different model we want, we are left with Skype. I have spoken before of the dangers of the proprietary route, but it is important enough to mention again. By using Skype we are granting a monopoly to a commercial entity, an entity that has not shown us they will serve us well by its possesion. In fact, there is a history of some contempt for users.
All that said, given that Skype is the only true alternative to another 100 years of 1904 telephony, I’m almost forced to become a Skype advocate. That’s a sorry state.
TMC VoIP Conference
As more proof of just how boring VoIP has become, check out a few of the featured agenda topics for the Telephony Conference & Expo scheduled for next month in Miami:
- VoIP Peering
- Regulation & Taxation
- UNE-P to VoIP
- Session Border Controllers
The telcos and cablecos should be enjoying a sigh of relief that the would-be disrupters are drowning in these turgid waters already. At this rate, VoIP should reach a telco-like cost structure in no time.