What You Need to Know About VoIP

VoIP, also known as Voice over IP, Internet phone, IP telephony, or broadband phone, is one of the hottest technologies available and is taking the world by storm. Simply put, VoIP allows you to send and receive telephone and fax calls through the Internet, instead of using your telephone or cell phone network.

VoIP providers service such as Vonage and Lingo have skyrocketed in popularity and are giving the old telecom companies a real run for their money in terms of pricing and features. VoIP phones, also called IP phones, offer cool features not available with your dodgy standard phone.

However, it can be frustrating wading through product information when selecting the right VoIP service for your needs. VoIP provider and equipment vendor websites can list arcane and unfamiliar terminology, features and options.

This website will help you become familiar with basic VoIP technology and products available today. In this way, you can learn what you need to know before you make a purchasing decision.

Does the FCC Regulate Internet Voice?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has worked to create an environment promoting competition and innovation to benefit consumers. Historically, the FCC has not regulated the Internet or the services provided over it.

On February 12, 2004, the FCC found that an entirely Internet-based VoIP service was an unregulated information service. On the same day, the FCC began a broader proceeding to examine what its role should be in this new environment of increased consumer choice and what it can best do to meet its role of safeguarding the public interest.

Additional Considerations
If you're considering replacing your traditional telephone service with VoIP, you should also be aware that:

Some VoIP services don't work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power;

VoIP providers may or may not offer directory assistance/white page listings.

These factors may change with new developments in VoIP technology. You should always check with potential VoIP service providers to confirm any advantages and limitations to their service, including 911 service.