Maybe the VOIP-Provider Model is Broke?

5 thoughts on “Maybe the VOIP-Provider Model is Broke?”

  1. Om,

    The regulators will have a hard time if VOIP traffic reaches the tipping point where enough calls are IP to IP and there is no phone company at all. Could you tax email? Users would simply download inter-operable voicemail applications onto their IP phone and call other IP phones. IP addresses become phone numbers (indirectly). Simply, it depends on Metcalf’s law, that the value of the network increases by the number of “nodes.” In this case, nodes, or phones, that are free of the plain old telephone network.

    The area of value, as you point out below, will be in the quality of the connection, which will allow this type of network to work reliably. Also, as JC Francois points out below, we don’t know what will be acceptable quality for VOIP. We do know that given a “better” internet connection, the liklihood of quality service inproves on one side of the call. The call itself has a cost of zero. And that is alluring.

    No one knows if we will reach this tipping point, but if we do, I do not know how it could be directly regulated.

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