The biggest challenge is making consumers aware that a technology called VoIP exists. A June 24, 2005 study by the Pew Internet and American Life project found only 27 percent of U. S. online users have heard of VoIP service.
Another major bottleneck is the need for a broadband connection, a high-speed Internet connection that are usually provided by cable companies or available from telephone companies using high-speed Digital Subscriber Lines. The standard dial-up connection using traditional phone lines doesn't have the capacity or speed to deliver effective voice communications via the Internet.
AT&T that has introduced the service in 10 states believes that VoIP “is not a complete substitute for traditional telephone service because it does not serve the needs of millions of Americans who cannot obtain or afford the high-speed Internet connection required. "
Among other drawbacks: Time Warner can deliver only one VoIP line for each cable modem with its present technology, which usually means one line per house. And phone-connected equipment such as fax machines and alarm systems don't always work with the new digital line.
Customers also said they were aggravated by frequent service outages. For VoIP customers, service goes down whenever there is a power outage or whenever the broadband Internet connection is temporarily disabled. Time Warner is working to address customer complaints and to introduce new features and upgraded VoIP service to Plum Creek residents as it becomes available.
Building a very reliable service isn't the only challenge. A series of security experts have warned that VoIP networks must protect themselves from the same malicious virus attacks and other criminal activity that plagues computer networks that link to the Internet.
VoIP does more than disrupt the economics of the phone industry. It also could disrupt the tax revenue of states and cities that together harvest tens of billions of dollars in revenue from taxing the conventional phone network. The Federal Communications Commission issued a ruling in 2004 that prevents states from imposing new regulations on VoIP service for the time being.
Following are the major drawbacks of VoIP:
>Customers must have broadband Internet service, which costs $20-$45 a month.
>If Internet service goes down, so does phone service.
>It requires additional equipment, usually a modem or an additional router.
>It sometimes lacks 9-1-1 capability.
>It may not work with analog burglar alarms or fax machines.
Reggie loves technology including what can be done in today's Voip and call conferencing world. For more of his articles, see these web directories: Call Conference and Call Conferencing Made Easy .