Thursday, July 28, 2005

VoIP and the future

I've been doing a lot of reading on VoIP and I'm seeing a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) articles on VoIP. I read one on why you shouldn't implement VoIP, another on why VoIP is insecure and another on the cost of VoIP. While these articles have at least a shred of truth they really are just articles that play on our fears (so we'll read them). I read them for a different reason, just to see what the articles were blathering on about. The reality is that VoIP is the future of telephony. Right now it's in its infancy and it's got a lot of growing pains to work through. But once it works through those problems we should see an acceptable product. At the moment I'm befuddled by the concept that people would accept poor quality telephony services simple because it's cheaper. Yet I hear about droves of people who have dropped their land line and switch to a VoIP service, a cellular service or both. For now I'm sticking with my land line and working with Asterisk and various VoIP equipment. When I'm sure the access and service of VoIP is stable and reliable then I'll switch. I figure I have a few more years yet.

On that note I will say that I am excited with the prospect of Asterisk and the VoIP phones I have. So far I have the Grand Stream BT100 working, The Sipura 3000 (SPA-3000) was working for accepting calls but my browser crashed in the middle of changes and put a password on the SPA-3000 and I had to factory reset it (ARGH!). And I have a 4 port ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) working. I now need to get the SPA-3000 to work with it's line 1 (to accept calls, initiating calls to the other VoIP devices works fine), placing calls on the land line, getting FWD added back in and then various clean up of the dial plan (I've grafted lot of other people's work into my dial plan). I hope to say bye-bye to telemarketers and their ilk once I have the dial plan properly working and a few other useful features.

Oh while I'm at it let me add another log on the fire. This time on the issue of whether broadband is a luxury or a necessity. It is my opinion that it will be a necessity like that of a phone service. While we don't need it to live our day to day lives it will be needed to communicate with everyone around us. The added services like TV over broadband will be staples even in the lower income homes. Now TV isn't a necessity, never was, but it is a high priority item. There will be those who can live without it but most won't. So I think broadband will become a necessity for day to day life in the US (for better or worse). It's not there right now but we're moving in that direction.


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