The price of VoIP's thriftiness

Companies are concerned about consumers dropping their phone line in favor of VoIP. VoIP provides several benefits like saving money and good voice quality. Still VoIP users suffer from several hang-ups, and the overall usefulness of VoIP once the power goes out. As you know your VoIP phone is dependent on your broadband connection. Therefore if the power goes out you're stuck in the dark without a working phone. Because of that you couldn't call 911, or any anyone else for that matter.

If you're thinking of dumping your standard phone service and placing calls over your broadband Internet connection, you might want to reconsider.

A growing number of companies, from start-ups to giants such as AT&T, are pitching VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) as a cheaper alternative to traditional service carried over a 100-year-old infrastructure by companies including SBC Communications and Verizon Communications.

Though it's true that consumers and businesses can often save money, with virtually no loss in voice quality, by going with Net-based phoning, there are many other hang-ups that make such a switch problematic for millions of potential customers. If you have a home alarm system, need to dial 911, use TiVo or simply want your phone number included in the phone book, you're likely to be out of luck. "With VoIP, there are obviously some limitations," said Paul Alfieri, a spokesman for Motorola's broadband division.

News source: C|Net News.com

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