Outages highlight VoIP problems

Vonage’s persistent outages, and the problems being experienced by some of AT&T’s CallVantage customers show that VoIP still is an inexact science, its promoters’ utopian visions notwithstanding. AT&T customers are finding that some cable providers are shutting down Port 69 as a preventive measure against viruses and worms. These outages are part of the maturing process of any technology, and are expected. However, since we do depend on voice communications quite a bit, these outages and bring upon the ire of consumers, especially those who are not early adopters. I guess, Bells would be using this as a marketing tool to combat VoIP encroachment of their local business. I frankly cannot take the risk of not having at least one dependable phone service. At present both voice lines I have – Internet Voice (Vonage) and Wireless Voice (T-Mobile) – are undependable. Scratch that – totally dependable. VoIP providers need to go beyond the $19.95 flat rate plans and have to assure “mass market” consumers of their durability and reliability.