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TelephoneThere is a lot of feedback from readers about the last few stories where I discussed “long distance”. Some are saying, “yeah verily”, others are saying “not so fast”. This is understandable given that we are beginning to go through a very disruptive period with regard to telephony. We are 5% of the way into what is in store for us.

One concern was raised by Tony Paulson who pointed out that 911 service is not available via the new SIP services. This is a valid point and there are likely other important services that are not available in the world of VoIP. This is to be expected at this stage. When tcp/ip (the protocols of the Internet) began to get attention in the mid 1990’s, people immediately pointed out the shortcomings — and there were many.

The point that is easy to overlook is about the power of “grass roots”, standards, and the “community”. Just like the Internet and the Web, VoIP is unstoppable. I can feel the grass roots movement around SIP (the protocol for voice over the Internet) just like what is happening with blogging and WiFi. There is no stopping it. Stay tuned.