Will VoIP Make the Telephone Ring?

History 1877 � The very first permanent outdoor telephone wire was completed. It stretched a distance of just three miles.

As a large proportion of people worldwide are increasingly favouring the Internet as a means of communicating with others, it should come as no great surprise to see it being adapted to encompass that other technological marvel of our age, the telephone.

History 1900 � First coin operated telephone installed in Hartford, Connecticut.

Once again, the Internet has taken another step forward in its evolution, this time with the arrival of voIP (voice over Internet Protocol). By using the Internet as a signal carrier, this system allows users to make and receive free or cheap telephone calls anywhere in the world. Whilst voIP is still in its fairly early stages, it is however showing all the signs of being a huge success.

History 1955 � Saw the beginning of the laying of transatlantic telephone cables.

Apart from a computer, there is only a minimal amount of equipment required to access this service. Users would have to route calls through a voIP provider,then what is needed is a fast connection such as broadband together with a telephone and voIP adapter and you’re up and running. Calls are then made and received in the normal way.

This latest technology whilst advancing the capability of the Internet even more could simultaneously be signalling the onset of a decline in conventional telecoms companies, who may find that they will have to adapt rapidly to keep up and compete in what could turn out to be another communications revolution. There are at present quite a number of voIP providers already in existence who have obviously seen the potential in this system and taken early action to be a part of it from the outset.

History 1936 � Research into electronic telephone exchanges began and was eventually perfected in the 1960’s with the electronic switching system (SES).

Is it a possibility then that the telephone could become the number-one method of communication again and eventually gain superiority over email? One of the main attractions of email is the fact that apart from the standard ISP charges it is otherwise free to use. It is therefore hardly a shock that since its inception email has relegated the art of letter writing to third place with the telephone only just above it as a preferred communication medium.

History 1876 � Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone, beating Elisha Gray by a matter of hours.

So, is all that due to change with the arrival of voIP? Will free or cheap telephone calls compliment or outstrip email usage in the next year or two? That remains to be seen. To the far-sighted among us, voIP is a natural progression that was bound to happen sooner or later. To the rest of us it is an exciting new concept that will not cost a fortune to operate, a benefit many will welcome with open arms.

There is however, a certain amusing irony in the fact that as the very system that contributed to the decline in telephone usage, the Internet could now turn out to be the biggest aid to its revival. The constant growth and ever-increasing abilities of the Internet has most of us asking the question, how much further can it go? As far as our imaginations will take us, would for the time being be as good an answer as any.

History 1888 � Common battery system developed by Hammond V. Hayes, allows one central battery to power all telephones on an exchange, rather than relying on each units own battery.

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John Sheridan is a professional proofreader of hard copy items and website copy. He also writes web copy and occasionally accepts small copy-editing assignments. He can be contacted via: http://www.textcorrect.co.uk

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