PBS | I, Cringely . The Best days of Voice-over-IP Telephone Service May Already Have Passed
“These are heady days for Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone services. From Vonage to Packet8 to Skype and a hundred more besides, several million people around the world are enjoying really cheap phone calls that are carried primarily over the Internet. But that fun may be diminishing soon because the big Internet service providers, which is to say the big telephone and cable TV companies, are about to start taking back that third-party VoIP traffic, leaving Vonage and the others at a distinct disadvantage.“
The argument is that cable and telco broadband providers will tag their VOIP packets to guarantee a higher level of service and leave the Vonages of the world with ‘best effort’ service resulting in things like dropped calls and bad audio quality. There is no evidence of this yet, but with Comcast just announcing the availabilty of VOIP in metro Atlanta, it will be interesting to see if soemthing like this develops.