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Re: Vonage Hits ISP Resistance

  • From: Joe Abley
  • Date: Thu Mar 31 12:26:48 2005

On 31 mars 2005, at 10:36, Greg Boehnlein wrote:

VoIP is great. VoPI (Voice over Public Internet) is great when it works,
but I wouldn't bet my life or my business on it.
I've been using voice over the public Internet for a long time, and the only times it has been unavailable (at a time that I tried to use it, and hence noticed) has been when my DSL has been down. When my DSL has been down, by and large, my analogue Bell Canada line has also been down.

When I get around to plumbing in the $24/month cable modem in my basement in a half-sensible way I'll be multi-homed, and I predict that in terms of availability the VoIP phone will then be more reliable than the analogue Bell Canada line.

The requirement for QoS is over-stated by most people, in my opinion. Extreme example: I made several SIP calls from Uganda over a congested satellite link during one of the AfNOG meetings within the closed INOC-DBA network, and the call quality was perfectly acceptable; wildly better, in fact (even with 20% packet loss) than using a GSM phone to call the same people over the PSTN. It had the additional benefit of not costing about $10/minute.

I wouldn't bet my life on the availability of VoIP service from my home office, but I wouldn't bet it on the availability of Bell Canada's analogue service either.

Fortunately, probably like everybody else here (and, increasingly, most people within the likely demographic to which VoIP service is marketed) I have a cellphone. The next time someone melodramatically collapses in my living room clutching their chest and mouthing "call an ambulance" I suspect we will be ok.


(No disrespect intended towards Bell Canada, who are probably the best local phone company I have experienced to date, based on personal experience on three continents. It's no accident that all telcos exclude the copper residential access network from their declarations of five-nines reliability.)

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