AT&T disclosed in SEC filings that it had 53,000 customers for its Internet phone service, AT&T CallVantage, as of the end of 2004. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. I don’t think it would be possible for anyone to botch the promotion of a product any worse than AT&T did in the case of CallVantage. Of course the century long lawyer-dominated nature of AT&T clearly played a role and I’m not sure the shadow of the once all conquering Ma Bell has the capacity to do things any other way.
VoIP advocates looked for explanations in a lot of places, but one has to wonder if there really is a market for simple substitution-play Phone-over-IP services. Could it be they are all trying to sell something nobody really wants? Is POTS really broken in the mind of the average consumer, as all of us VOIP zealots assume?