VoIP

VoIP / Most Commented

Moore's Law and the Economics of Abundance

Moore's Law explains why the price of everything electronic keeps going down; but now Moore's Law is starting to have an effect on much more than technology prices. The costs of energy, medicine, law, education, financial transactions, and government itself are falling because of Moore's Law's relentless progress. But these cost decreases are not being fully reflected in the prices we pay for all these things. more

On Comcast and Net Neutrality: Shouting Fire in a Theater

The Comcast traffic shaping case has stirred up passionate debate. Net neutrality proponents are calling for Comcast's head on a platter. The common argument is that Comcast's policy may stifle innovation and competition. If a service provider is allowed to exercise unregulated discretion in how it treats subscriber traffic, it is a slippery slope toward anti-competitive practices. Net neutrality says keep your hands off. Some are preaching net neutrality as if it were an inalienable human right like freedom of speech... more

There Is No "Spam Problem"

This month I thought I could feel smug, deploying Postfix, with greylisting (Postgrey), and the Spamhaus block list (SBL-XBL) has reduced the volume of unsolicited bulk commercial email one of our servers was delivering to our clients by 98.99%. Alas greylisting is a flawed remedy, it merely requires the spambots to act more like email servers and it will fail, and eventually they will... more

Carriers Skirting Rules on Network Neutrality vs. Free's Innovative Network

From will they ever learn department, we are once again seeing attempts by incumbent carriers to skirt rules around network neutrality. They tried and failed with UBB. Now they are at it again with "speed boost" technologies. The two technologies at question are Verizon's "Turbo" service and Roger's "SpeedBoost". more

2008: The Year That VoIP Died

It seems highly likely to me that at some point in the future we'll all look back and say that 2008 was the year that the VoIP industry finally died... Voice over IP is just a transport and signalling technology. It's plumbing. It may come as a surprise to some of you to know that in the late 1980's and early 1990's there was a TCP/IP industry as well. TCP/IP is inarguably plumbing. As the IP stack became common on all computing devices, TCP/IP went from being a differentiator to a commodity. more

IPv6 Over Satellite: Pie in the Sky?

I am writing this from the Satellite 2008 conference in Washington, D.C. As I make my way through the exhibits, I see many vendors advertising IP capabilities in their hardware products or network services. But when asked about IPv6 support, the common reply is a not so believable "it is on our roadmap" followed by a somewhat vague delivery date. Although IPv6 development has been slow across the board, it appears to be moving even more slowly in the satellite world... more

Questioning "Net Neutrality"

I'm kinda foxed by the some of the discussion going on about "Net Neutrality". The internet was designed from the outset not to be content neutral. Even before there was an IP protocol there were precedence flags in the NCP packet headers. And the IP (the Internet Protocol) has always had 8 bits that are there for the sole purpose of marking the precedence and type-of-service of each packet. It has been well known since the 1970's that certain classes of traffic -- particularly voice (and yes, there was voice on the internet even during the 1970's) -- need special handling... more

It's Not Paranoia if They Are Really After You!

In the latest development from the World Conference on International Telecommunications, a new "compromise proposal" has been leaked to wcitleaks.org. This proposal is certainly no compromise, as it not only is a bald faced power grab by the sponsors (Russia, UAE, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan at this point), but shows a stunning lack of comprehension of how the Internet works and how it is currently governed. It also shows that the coalition of Civil Society groups and private sector organisations that have focused on WCIT have been correct all along.  more

FCC to Hold Two December Workshops on PSTN Transition to New Technologies

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued a public notice that it will be holding two workshops on the transition of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to "new technologies" such as voice-over-IP (VoIP). The workshops will be held on December 6 and 14, 2011, at the FCC's office in Washington, DC. The public notice states the goal as... more

Google Voice: Race to the Bottom for Telephony - or Something Else?

Just when you thought making phone calls couldn't get any cheaper, along comes last week's news from Google about their latest iteration of Google Voice. There have been several steps along the way for Google to get to this point, and there are a host of reasons why this news is of interest to service providers of all stripes. I often write about how certain technologies and disruptive forces change the business of being a service provider, and this is but the latest example. more

Unlimited VoIP Offers Starting to Appear in Africa

VoIP has been banned across most of Africa for a long time, feared by the state-owned telcos as a way for alternative service providers to bypass them with international calls, eroding a very lucrative part of their business. At profit margins of several thousand percent in some cases, it is not surprising that unlicensed operators have sprung up all over the continent, risking huge fines, confiscation of their equipment and even jail terms. more

Skype's End User License Agreement

I was looking at the End User License Agreement to which Skype wants people to assent. I noticed the following odd provision (Section 3.2.4): You hereby grant to Skype a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable licence to Use the Content in any media in connection with the Skype Software, the Products and the Skype Website. more

Exploring the Roots of Wireless Spectrum Controversy (eComm Panel)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the The Emerging Communications (eComm) 2009 conference in San Francisco which was packed with 3 days of fascinating conversations about the future of communications. I absolutely enjoyed talking to various speakers and attendees giving me a deep level of appreciation and perspective on technical, commercial and political issues at hand -- and what is likely to come in the next few years. And speaking of politics, Lee Dryburgh, who founded eComm in early 2008, has generously allowed us to share with you a fascinating panel discussion which took place on day 3 of the conference called "Spectrum 2.0 - What's really happening?" more

IPv6: Do as I Say or Do as I Do?

How important is it for a vendor, service provider or integrator to be using a service or technology that it is pushing on its clients? When Voice over IP (VoIP) came out Cisco began a gigantic push, having its salespersons pitch it to anyone and everyone on their client list. But Cisco had not yet deployed VoIP within its own corporate network. It was still making use of traditional voice systems from vendors that today it probably considers competitors. Many people on the receiving end of a sales pitch recognized this... more

Are We Slowly Losing Control of the Internet?

I have long been intrigued by the question of how do we turn the internet into a lifeline grade infrastructure... My hope that this will occur soon or even within decades is diminishing. Most of us observe, almost daily, how even well established infrastructures tend to crumble when stressed, even slightly... I was at the O'Reilly Etel conference last week. The content was impressive and the people there were frequently the primary actors in the creation and deployment of VOIP. However, not once during the three days did I hear a serious discussion by a speaker or in the hallways about how this evolving system would be managed, monitored, diagnosed, or repaired. more