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Quest Drops VoIP Charge
Qwest has a vested interest in promoting VoIP adoption. The carrier, which claims to be the first ILEC to offer VoIP service, has an offering in Minnesota and says it plans to expand the service to all of its 14-state region by year's end. Taking advantage of its extensive IP backbone, Qwest also plans to offer a business-grade VoIP service nationwide within that time.
VoIP holds great potential for ILECs because it lets them keep calls entirely on their own backbones without using the latency-laden public Internet. However, it remains to be seen whether this quality advantage will let ILECs, such as Qwest and Verizon, compete with Vonage, whose low-cost service has more than135,000 customers. Whatever happens, the elimination of the local access fee will mean lower costs for VoIP service providers, which should make their offerings even more attractive.
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