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VoIP Shows Signs Of Going Mainstream

Manhasset, N.Y. - The Fall 2004 Voice on the Net Conference in Boston this week expects to draw twice as much interest as it did last year, one of many signs that suggest voice-over-Internet Protocol technology is surging. Two moves last week - Linksys' delivery of VoIP adapters to Verizon and Office Depot's plans to sell the VoIP phones and services of VoiceGlo - also point to IP telephony's growing ubiquity.

Analysts predict good times for carriers offering VoIP services as subscribers look to make low-cost over-the-Net calls and gain access to a range of services and features. Still, technical and regulatory hurdles could keep VoIP an add-on service — not a full phone-line replacement — for the foreseeable future.

But the pendulum is definitely swinging, said Scott Kargman, chief operating officer of, a VoIP advocacy group and organizer of Fall VON 2004. The rising interest comes as the freeze that gripped the telecom industry since 2000 begins to thaw and as cable companies look to offer voice, data and video services to compete with DSL, local and long-distance operators, Kargman said.

The exploding interest coincides with both the emergence of improved network-monitoring tools that ensure quality-of-service and the convergence of the IP telephony community on the Session Initiation Protocol as the VoIP signaling standard of choice.

VoIP inflection

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