Slashdot | AOL Enters the VoIP market
AOL is entering the VoIP market with its new service entitled ‘AOL Internet Phone Service’. The service will be available in 40 cities around the US and offer integrated IM presence indicator, voice/e-mail and features like Call Waiting, CallerID. As a bonus current AOL members will receive a wireless AP when signing-up for the service.

VoIP is all fine and dandy so long as you actually have the IP part. I’ve been experiencing considerable difficulty with my cable broadband over the past few weeks and it has been a good thing that i wasn’t relying on it for phone service.

This is the basic flaw in VoIP: no way to guarantee the same level of service availability that you get from a telco. When I pick up my land line, I get dial tone. I don’t get that from any other service. My cells are plagues by ‘dead spots’, dropped calls, and poor reception. My cable and broadband are not always there when I want them. If VoIP is ever going to be anything other than a novelty, VoIP and broadband providers need to work together to make sure that the service is up all the time.