Telephone calls over the Internet heating up

Time Warner Cable Inc. announced yesterday that it has turned to Sprint Corp. and WorldCom Inc. to jump-start a new telephone service that it plans to roll out to millions of cable television subscribers across the country in the coming year.
The new service comes as cable companies are rushing to take advantage of technology that allows them to move calls over the Internet. The deal creates a powerful industry alliance that would allow the cable and long-distance companies to bypass the vast local telephone networks controlled by dominant players such as Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. In theory, a call could travel over Time Warner’s wires and connect directly to a long-distance company’s network without ever touching the local telephone network. (full story)

My spin: Vonage really made commercial and business voice over the Internet protocol, VOIP popular over the past several months. Of course, CISCO, 3Com, MIC and other vendors have been selling VOIP solutions to businesses for many years. But now, a new wave of popularity is taking off. It started with Vonage, but now cable companies and more telecomm companies are entering the game. It’s cheap, very flexible and efficient.