VoIP can be great for business use, short calls or if all your family and friends are long distance from your current residence, but there are too many "hidden" issues and costs to consider. First, your computer and your broadband ISP quality. Both have a MAJOR impact on your VoIP service quality. If your computer slows down pretty quickly during long sessions (full cache), your VoIP conversation can start to break up and actually become worse than a cell call in a "dead zone". If your broadband is through cable modem, the more people in your neighborhood that are online, the more likely your call quality will degrade. Plus, if your ISP is down (like "cable maintenace" in the area), your VoIP service is down! Not to mention that not all areas or providers have 911 on VoIP yet. Then there is the cost of your broadband to consider. True, most of us are already paying that cost but most wouldn't consider that as a part of our phone service cost. With VoIP, you must have the broadband so it IS a part of your phone costs, whether it's through your phone line or cable or satellite. Until ISPs and computer systems can be totally reliable and guaranteed not to crash, slow down, etc., I'll stick with my landline and just shop for the best "package" deal. Since SBC lowered their DSL price to only $14.95 a month, my bills including phone, voice mail, and DSL are about $15 LESS than just my cable ISP was running me and unless a phone pole is knocked down, I'm always up...phone AND ISP.
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