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VoIP Problems?

Well of course there's VoIP problems, although I think problems is too strong of a word. Instead I would call this VoIP issues. (Just semantics? maybe, read on!)

Some may be old enough to remember making long distance calls where there was static or crackling on the phone line connection. Maybe you remember having to speak LOUDER in order to be heard on the line. Was that a problem? Maybe to you it was but to the companies providing the service, it was a merely a technical issue that needed to be addressed. The issue was addressed and resolved. Now you expect this high quality service right?

Ok, what about cellular phones? Maybe you're old enough to remember when calls were dropped or barely audible. Maybe you remember lugging around those heavy phones. This was a time when a cellular phone was just that, a phone! Was this a problem? Maybe to you it was but to the companies providing the service, it was merely a technical issue that needed to be addressed. The issue was addressed and resolved. Now? Well, there's not too many cellular phones that are 'just' phones. You can surf the internet with them, take pictures, record short video clips, change the ringers, store your address and phone numbers, etc.

For both these 'problems' above, it was a relatively short time frame between 'issue' and resolution. We can draw comparison after comparison between technology and technology issues. I could start talking about echo cancellers, VoIP gateways, multiplexors, etc. and the current circuitry vs. the research and new circuitry on it's way, but that's not the point of this article. The point is simply that 'yes' there are issues with VoIP but also, 'yes' issues are to be expected and 'yes' issues will be resolved.

Some of the most common quality issues are echo and delay. I myself use VoIP over my residential broadband connection and frankly I think it's just fine. I like the service and quality of calls, but yes, at times, the echo and delay can be annoying. This is usually infrequent and not worth me canceling my service. The point I'm trying to make here is that, for me, it's acceptable. Why? Because I understand that this is 'relatively' new. I understand that equipment manufactures are building better technology to address these issues. I understand that the popularity of VoIP will expedite the issue resolution. I've worked in information technology for over 20 years now and certainly understand this progression in technology.

Other issues are in the E911 service and of course there's issues with most residential DSL subscribers. Both these issues are directly with the existing phone companies. The FCC is already involved in both these cases and I believe it will be sooner rather than later for these to be resolved as well.

I for one do have E911 service and I am not a DSL subscriber. So E911 for me is a non-issue and using cable access eliminates having to keep my local telephone company for my primary phone service.

The bottom line, for me, is the cost savings. The cost savings over shadows the occasional echo and delay. E911 has already made its way into my area and using cable internet access removes my dependency on the local telephone company.

VoIP can be a great way for you to save money on your phone service, but don't go into this blindly. Most consumers are intelligent enough to understand the progression that occurs with any technology. It's pretty good as it is and yes I would agree it needs to be better. I also know, heck I'm confident that the quality of service will continue to improve.

So what's the bottom line? Go for it. Find a service that will provide you with a free trial period. Take it for a test drive, kick the tires, etc. The higher your existing monthly phone bill is, the sooner you should try out this service.

It's ok to demand perfection, but perfection takes time. Change is hard and change takes time. Change is upon us and VoIP, in my humble opinion is here to stay. Give it a try, be realistic. Get the information, get your quote, get your free trial period, you really have nothing to loose and quite possibly money to save!

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