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Try long distance calling over the Internet

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If you've ever made a phone call overseas, then you have probably been on the cutting edge of communications (and you probably didn't even know it.)

Today some phone calls already travel, not along voice lines, but along the internet before ringing a conventional phone. Experts think it won't be long before the next telecommunications revolution merges your telephone and computer in a technology called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

One company, Vonage Holdings Corp., is on the forefront of the movement and calls itself "the broadband phone company." You can use Vonage if you have any broadband Internet connection. Vonage gives you an adapter which connects to your broadband modem. Then, you plug any telephone into a phone jack, and your phone acts as if it's plugged into the regular phone network.

If you travel, you can take the adaptor with you, plug it in anywhere, and it's the same as calling from home.

But phone adapters might not be the direction the technology moves. Some think computer makers could be the next telephone companies since they will incorporate VOIP technology into their computers.

The quality of the VOIP call depends on the quality of the user's broadband link. That quality issue is what is holding back much of VOIP development. According to The New York Times, a bad broadband internet connection might not even be noticeable when you are downloading materials from the internet. But an inconsistent or poor broadband connection makes for a dramatically poor internet voice connection, causing dropped words and dropped connections.

Analysts say the problems will soon be worked out since VOIP can save consumers 30 percent or more over conventional telephone service.

Long Island Technology Articles > Try long distance calling over the Internet

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