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PlusNet Wants Open VoIP Standards

Posted: 28th Sep, 2005 By: MarkJ
Plusnet has called for the development of open Voice-over-IP standards to help build the quality of such services and make them less vulnerable to attack. Unsurprisingly the ISP uses this as a platform to introduce its own product:

VoIP providers using peer-to-peer (P2P) systems that lack their own dedicated networks to support voice calls are utilising internet service providers' bandwidth. With no control over the networks they talk over, they cannot assure priority of voice traffic over data, which is required for effective VoIP communications. As a result, the quality of voice and service may degrade, causing call drop-offs, echo, bad reception and delays during the calls.

"Only by assigning dedicated bandwidth to VoIP calls can quality be assured," said Lee Strafford, CEO, PlusNet. "This is something that companies using P2P VoIP cannot control."

The VoIP users exploiting P2P networks are also facing an imminent threat of spam over internet telephony (SPIT), which is quickly becoming the next cheap avenue for spammers to advertise their products. Following eBay's admission that Skype's customer contact details will be made widely available to eBay's traders, its customers will be exposed to unsolicited contacts. SPIT not only causes the phone to ring constantly, but can also fill users' voicemail inboxes with junk mail.

"We firmly believe that VoIP services are best offered by internet service providers, who can offer the necessary control of quality and security to counter today's spam and security threats. Otherwise poor quality of service will be synonymous with VoIP, and users will begin turning their backs on a great technology," added Strafford.

If VoIP is to take over from traditional telephony as the primary means of communication, PlusNet recommends that the industry must adopt open standards.

"Some providers such as Skype offer a proprietary system, a closed circle where you can only talk freely to other VoIP users who have subscribed to the same service. Only by using open standards can users talk freely to whoever they want to, regardless of who the provider happens to be. VoIP providers who don't adopt open standards will keep their customers effectively locked in closed communities," continued Strafford.

Launching today, PlusTalk is one of the first VoIP services offered to consumers directly from an internet service provider. Users of PlusTalk can communicate freely with others who use VoIP services based on open standards. They can either call VoIP to VoIP totally free of cost, or for cheap evening and weekend calls to local, national, international and mobiles prices start from £ 2.99 per month.

Phone packages and calls will be itemised and charged as part of the monthly Broadband bill which can be viewed on-line via PlusNet's self service portal.

PlusTalk can be used via a headset with the computer or even by plugging the normal home phone directly into a VoIP enabled router, bypassing the computer having to be switched on to make and receive calls, and with the additional benefit of being able to make emergency 999 calls.
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