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Subject: [IP] and VoIP -- and Telecommunications in general

  • From: Dave Farber <>
  • To:
  • Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 12:11:52 -0500

Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 12:01:16 -0500
From: Bob Frankston <>
Subject: RE: [misc] How IP Telephony Works -- and Circuit Switching vs Packet
  Switching and VoIP -- and Telecommunications in general
To: "'John F. McMullen'" <>
Cc: 'Dave Farber' <>, 'Declan McCullagh' <>

Focusing on cost misses the real point about IP telephony -- it's all about
defining telephony at the edge and not a service provided by others. Even
Vonage currently acts more like a Telco by providing a closed service.

As long as a third part is involved in peer-to-peer IP telephony it is still
old-style telephony. The third party should only be involved when bridging
to and from the old PSTN. Skype plus bridging gets interesting.

It's no surprise that the discussion is framed in terms of old style
telephony but it confuses the issue. I write about this and related issues
in -- it's as much about morality as

Incidentally, my Verizon land lines went out yesterday but I was able to
redirect the calls to my Vonage line until they were repaired. For a while
DSL over the same wires continued to work! But I use a dual WAN (Xincom)
router so I have backup connectivity via cable modem. Of course I called
repair on my Vonage line. For now cell phones also act as a backup but the
very idea that we care about wired vs wireless is part of the legacy of
telephony as a service rather than just an application built on

-----Original Message-----
From: John F. McMullen []
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 11:25
To: johnmac's living room
Cc: CardinalFarley List; Dave Farber; Declan McCullagh
Subject: [misc] How IP Telephony Works -- and Circuit Switching vs Packet
Switching and VoIP -- and Telecommunications in general

This is, IMNSHO, a very good link, providing a clear definition of the use
of the Internet as a telephone -- one caution: when going from page to
page, be careful that you hit "Next" (below the bottom of the page) rather
than the "Compare Prices" or "Super Deals" buttons. There are diagrams,
etc. on the pages that add to the explanation.

As I've mentioned before, I (and a few friends, such as Dr. Merlino) use
Vonage and have been very happy with it. Some of my students are using the
Cablevision service and have also been very happy with it. Both run $34.95
a month for unlimited local and long distance calling (there is some other
initial expense if the user wants to have multiple extenstions; I'm using
a Panasonic wireless base station with multiple cordless phones -- up to 8
-- around the house and am also very happy with that,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Refdesk Link of the Day <>
Subject: Refdesk Link of the Day:How IP Telephony Works

Today's Refdesk Link of the Day is: How IP Telephony Works

Forget about those "bargain" long-distance carriers -- IP telephony lets
you make free long-distance phone calls using your computer. It's
essentially a phone network based on Internet protocol, a pretty cool use
of the Internet infrastructure that already connects computers all over
the world.

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   "Always make new mistakes" -- Esther Dyson
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    Pierre Abelard
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    -- Arthur C. Clarke
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                          John F. McMullen ICQ: 4368412 Fax: (603) 288-8440


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