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Nearly Three Quarters Of Consumers Favor VoIP: Survey

American consumers are ready for voice over IP (VoIP), according to a new survey by telecommunications provider Level 3 Communications. The survey found that 71% of respondents would consider subscribing to VoIP services, though many said that they still require more information before making the leap.

According to Level 3, young adults, recent college graduates and Hispanics are the most receptive consumers for Internet telephone services. Some 35% of recent graduates and 36% of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 have a higher rate of interest in VoIP than the market average. The rate is even higher among Hispanic consumers, among whom 39% expressed a greater level of interest than the market average.

The potential for cost savings is the primary reason for consumer interest in VoIP, and 73% of respondents said that they would prefer to receive VoIP services as part of a telecom services bundle, specifically one that included broadband Internet access. Indeed, many respondents said that they would be particularly interested in a bundle that provided a discount on broadband services, quality of service guarantees, and advanced telephony features.

With this in mind, VoIP could well be a major competitive play for broadband providers. The survey found, for example, that early adopters of VoIP are 50 percent more likely than other consumers to consider switching providers.

"We feel strongly that as education on Internet calling increases, consumer adoption will grow more rapidly," Level 3 vice president of marketing for VoIP services Cynthia Carpenter said in a statement. "Therefore we are focused on increasing consumer awareness of Internet calling and the benefits it delivers through direct, vendor-neutral education. Among other things, consumers need to be aware that all VoIP services are not created equal and that the levels of quality, reliability and safety can vary."