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BT Plans Move To IP Telephony, Starting Next Year 228

Posted by timothy
from the kin-y'-hyeah-me-now dept.
pure_equanimity writes "The BBC have published an article saying that BT are planning to migrate from a PSTN to an IP network, a move to cost 3bn. They say that broadband will become ubiquitous, with customers having the ability to plug any device in to get access. They also say that current cheap broadband products will more than likely not be viable in five years time. They plan to start rolling out in 2006, and cover the vast majority of customers by 2009."
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BT Plans Move To IP Telephony, Starting Next Year

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  • by Nurgled (63197) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:36AM (#9385054)

    This was the last thing I expected from BT after their faffing about with getting DSL sorted out a few years back. This should be interesting...

    Too bad I'm not a BT customer. I wonder what will become of all of the mini-telcos which currently hang off BT's network.

    • Definitely, considering how expensive ADSL and broadband in general is in the UK, and the stranglehold BT has on providing wholesale ASDL in the market.

      The only reason they are doing this most likely to tap into the mobile and other new markets, and it looks like a risky investment. No-one knows what the market would be like 2 years down the road, let alone 5 years.
      • Is broadband expensive in the UK? I didn't notice. I thought 25 per month for 1mbit was Á(onable.
        • not sure what happened there, typed reasonable
        • by iserlohn (49556) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @06:13AM (#9385490) Homepage
          25/mth is quite good in the UK actually, but 25 pounds = 45 USD. You could probably get 1.5mbs with a good provider in the US for $35, and in Canada for less than $25 ($20 USD). In Japan and HK, you get 10+mbs for around $20 USD.

          Telewest has just increase it's bandwidth by 50% though (no change in the plan price though). 512->768k, 1.0->1.5m etc. It's great and probably a good deal if you want 1mbs and don't have bulldog in your area.
  • So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macshune (628296) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:37AM (#9385058) Journal
    "They also say that current cheap broadband products will more than likely not be viable in five years time. They plan to start rolling out in 2006, and cover the vast majority of customers by 2009."

    So they are gonna hook customers up right before the prices go up? I thought prices would go down as time marches on? What about all that "dark fiber"?
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tooky (15656) <steve@tooke.gmail@com> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:23AM (#9385211) Homepage

      So they are gonna hook customers up right before the prices go up? I thought prices would go down as time marches on? What about all that "dark fiber"?

      Reading the article I took it to mean that cheap broadband IP telephony products would be unviable in 5 years time, not broadband internet per se.

      • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Znork (31774)
        Indeed, that's what they say. However, as ip telephony can be expected to use a miniscule fraction of the bandwidth on a broadband connection, and IP telephony service isnt that expensive to set up, they'd have to figure out a way to lock you in, easiest by controlling and raising the price on your broadband as it would be much harder to control and overcharge for IP telephony service.
        • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

          by AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @07:00AM (#9385665)
          This is BT. Control and Overcharge are their middle names. Actually their full name is Bastard Control Crumbling Infrastructure Bad Support Incompetent Overcharge Telecom. They shorten it to BT so they can fit it on the trucks and use the cover name "British Telecom".

          They'd have no problems at all in controlling or overcharging for IPT, especially with the Toothless Wonder regulator (whose best threats seem to be things like "Oh, go on, please drop your prices, pretty please with a picture of Tony on the top"... although anything with a picture of President Blair on it is probably a serious threat now I think about it..)
    • Right now, phones pay for broadband.

      Once the public gets seriously into VOIP, which they will, phones are going byebye. So broadband will have to pay for itself.

      Only sensible, really.

  • PSTN? (Score:4, Informative)

    by OverlordQ (264228) * on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:38AM (#9385062) Journal
    I'll admit I had to look this one up, if ya woulda said POTS, I would of known right off the bat.

    Public Switched Telephone Network btw.
    • British terminology, my friend. :)

    • Re:PSTN? (Score:3, Funny)

      by PowerBert (265553)
      Rubbish!

      Back in my day PSTN was "Packet Switched Telephone Network". It was called that because it used packet switching to route information. Whoever heard of Public switching?

      Public switching:

      1. An outdated communications protocol used before IP on the original internet in 1500BC. It was slow by todays standards, had no means of error checking and could not gaurentee delivery. It's still used today, but only at childrens parties where it is more often referred to as Chinese whispers.

      2. A method fo
      • Re:PSTN? (Score:5, Informative)

        by stoborrobots (577882) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:33AM (#9385244)
        It's a Switched Telephone Network for Public use... as opposed to Private Automatic Branch eXchange...

        "Public Switching"... Heh!

      • Re:PSTN? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @05:04AM (#9385318) Journal
        Actually, PSTN does stand for Public Switched Telephone Network - the public bit meaning not private (as in PABX - Private Automatic Branch eXchange).

        Packet switching on telephone networks is a relatively new thing (compared to the history of automatic telephone switching). Until 20 years ago, most telephone switching was still done by electromechanical machines (google for Strowger Telephone Exchange) - huge rooms full of physical switches (uniselectors, bidirectional selectors) and relays which moved and clattered as subscribers dialed telephone numbers; the tones (such as ringing, number unobtainable, engaged etc) generated by a motor-driven machine. If you go to the London Science Museum, they have part of one of these exchanges you can play with.
        Trunk calls were routed using analogue frequency division multiplexing rather than packet switching. Signalling between mechanical telephone exchanges was done at voice frequencies (for example, the famous 2600Hz tone - in Britain, the frequency was different and it was known as 2VF - if you listen to some Radio 4 radio plays you'll find the sound engineers still like inserting the 'pip' sound when someone answers a call which you heard when the 2VF signalling wasn't quite fully supressed from reaching the subscriber's phone. These 'pip' sounds probably disappeared from the public network 20 years ago but the sound engys at the BBC seem to like them).
      • Bollocks. See my post here [slashdot.org].
  • Yea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deltan (217782) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:38AM (#9385063)
    Good Luck with that BT. There are tons of people out there with old rotary phones still, utilizing pulse dialing. They're not going to get some old lady to change her pots phone for some fancy IP phone.
    • Re:Yea... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Tranzig (786710)
      I don't how things happen there but many elderly switched to ISDN here a couple years ago, only because they were persuaded by the ads. They don't know Internet at all, and their only reason for swiching was: ``They said it's faster''.
    • Re:Yea... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zog The Undeniable (632031) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:55AM (#9385123)
      All BT's exchanges have been System X (digital) for a few years now, but pulse-dialling still works in software, should you want it. The main reason some people still have dial phones is that they were hardwired to the wall, and it's an offence to get anyone but BT to install a modern plug-in wall box. At a cost.
    • Actually... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      the majority of BT users rent their phones for an annual cost that is far greater than buying one.. check out the House of Lords report. So it should be easy for BT to send them a new one, because they already own the rented one.
    • Re:Yea... (Score:5, Informative)

      by curator_thew (778098) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:49AM (#9385277)
      "They're not going to get some old lady to change her pots phone for some fancy IP phone"

      Did you comprehend the article? This is more about their internal network, rather than the customer equipment.

      They will convert their entire internal network into VOIP, so even if you have an old analog POTS line, your calls will be VOIP'd between exchanges.

      Naturally, once they have a native internal VOIP network, then they're in a better position to offer interesting VOIP services directly to the customer. But a vast majority of customers will still be using analog POTS.

      It's hardly surprising: if they don't do this then they will fall behind in offering the kinds of innovative services that upstart VOIP vendors can offer. It also makes for better service integration and interoperation with future 4G technologies, etc.

  • rims? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by narkotix (576944) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:39AM (#9385065)
    do people in britain (and other countries) suffer from the RIM syndrome? ie being on a remote integrated multiplexor? or even being pairgained? If its common over there, does that mean BT will be ugprading all their exchanges?
    • Re:rims? (Score:2, Funny)

      by natd (723818)
      Even worse. Lookup Milton Keynes.

    • WTFAYBOA?

      Good God man, what the blazes?

      I have phone, I plug in wall, I call my mamma. No thankyou multiplexor pargainer, not today, Goodbye!
    • Re:rims? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dogers (446369) *
      I can only assume you mean DAC's? Where a cable is split into effectively 2 seperate lines (limiting your modem dialup to 28k, no matter what)

      Yes, they use it a lot here, but I dont think its an exchange limitation (generally anyway) - it seems to be more of a local box/cabling thing.. when we had an extra 3 lines put in the engineer said if we got 1 more, BT would have to upgrade the cable from the exchange to the subbox, then to our house! He also mumbled something about that probably helping them justif
    • Re:rims? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by squaretorus (459130) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @05:09AM (#9385336) Homepage Journal
      My new house suffers from this, but a quick hour on the phone to BT persuaded them that this 'sucked' and that upgrading my line was a 'good idea' so that I could get broadband.

      For anyone in a similar position, heres how I did it. Remember at all times that the person you are talking to is a thick bastard who couldnt get a real job and hates his/her life and just wants to go home.

      Is my phoneline split? I can only get 28Kbps on my dial up! Can I get broadband - I know my exchange is enabled.
      "Your line fails the test sir - you cant get broadband"
      "But is my line split? I beleive I read that if your line is split BT has to replace it if you order broadband on an enabled exchange"
      "I dont think thats right sir - where did you see that?"
      "In flight magazine probably - BA"
      "I'll ask my supervisor"
      "Hello - supervisor here - you have a line issue"
      "I want a new line because I suspect its shared and I want broadband and you have to change the line" ...
      to cut a long story short (well - okay - lonng) I just repeated this about 2 dozen times until they booked me an engineer to replace the line. I dont think its true - but these guys just want an easy life so hassle them into giving you the line. Oh - but remember - when they say "where did you read it" say "Fortune" or "In flight magazine" not "/."
    • Re:rims? (Score:3, Informative)

      by jadel (746203)
      This is quite common in Australia. Basically a pair gain allows one copper pair to multiplex multiple conversations (commonly two, but it may be more) allowing more phones to be connected without having to drag more copper through the conduits to peoples houses. A rim is a different device, basically a miniature exchange that connects via fibre optic cable to the main exchange building to avoid having to drag each individual copper pair all the way back.
      Being on either device basically guarentees that yo
  • Charge by the MB (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:42AM (#9385073)
    You can bet their charging scheme will change to p/minute to p/MB of data. That way they can cash in on all the "free" telephony.
    • I personally enjoy spending incalcuable amounts of money for telephony. I have a 200+ special, but only on the same network, 25p peak unless I call my grandmother after texting twice in which case it's 17p per minute, unless I'm in the lounge when there's a leisure discount. Coupled with a supersaver from Virgin, Wannabeatelco, provided that I prefix 17 digits to the number then I can get additional discounts. Do you remember walking to the red phonebox and waiting, striking up a conversation with others i
  • by funkytwig (780501) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:42AM (#9385074)
    "cheap broadband products will more than likely not be viable in five years time"

    BT don't do any cheap broadband products, only expensive overpriced ones :-)
  • by Ubi_NL (313657) <joris@NosPAM.ideeel.nl> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:42AM (#9385076) Journal
    Does anyone have an idea how all this phone traffic is going to affect the load on the entire internet? I assume it's UDP but stil... I have the feeling the backbone routers are busy enough already with all the other traffic
    • Uncompressed telephone-qualtiy audio as PCM takes up 64 kbps (8 KB/s), just like an ISDN channel.

      It will certainly not be as bad, load-wise, as installing high-speed Internet access.
    • by Nurgled (63197) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:52AM (#9385117)

      I imagine that the majority of phone call traffic will never leave BT's network, since the uptake of IP telephony in the rest of the world is still quite small.

      Even if similar moves are made in other countries, I'm sure BT have some connections that could keep it local until it hits the remote exchange.

  • by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:48AM (#9385097)
    Phone service to the UK is temporatily unavailable due to the Sasser.Q virus. Please try again later.
  • Powersource? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sirdude (578412)
    From what I understand, currently phones work when there's a power outage because the current copper line network always has a mild voltage in it.. Just wondering if that will change if the phones are connected via a fibre network..
    • Re:Powersource? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Baricom (763970)

      ...currently phones work when there's a power outage because the current copper line network always has a mild voltage in it.

      They work because the phone company has backup power - batteries and generators. See How Stuff Works [howstuffworks.com].

      However, you bring up an interesting point about fiber - unlike copper, you need to provide power for the devices on either end. From the article:

      We anticipate that millions of people will use the phone in the same way...

      This makes me think that the VOIP network may have

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't worry. The government will restore your conversation from their backups as soon as power is restored :/
    • Re:Powersource? (Score:3, Informative)

      by NotWulfen (219204)
      That mild voltage is supplied by the central office via huge banks of batteries supplying a 48V DC feed.

      Since a lot of COs and switching centers already have this massive infrastructure for supplying DC power most (if not all) internetworking equipment can be obtained in DC power supply versions.

      So yes, the equipment at the CO will stay up through a power outage because it'll still be powered by those 48V batteries, equipment at the customer end is a completely different thing... but unless it's a full FT
  • The Skype Telephone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Beautyon (214567) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @03:49AM (#9385102) Homepage
    When Skype [skype.com] come out with their telephone kit that plugs straight into the new BT network will BT cut off people trying to use another handset? They might, but they wont get away with it.

    This is going to be the biggest revolution in telephony the UK has ever seen. Whilst a Skype handset might not connect you to phones that are not on their network, if enough people use it, it could supplant the BT network and destroy their business.

    I wonder how they are going to charge for the service, obviously line rental, which will be the minimum they will be able to collect from each user, but taking into consideration the ease with which people will be able to switch providers, their churn rate will be very high indeed.

    Basically, they are going to spend 3 billion to put themselvs out of business. Great!
    • You can use the Skype Handset just with any kind of broadband internet connection, it doesn't matter what the underlying medium is (telephone wire, cable etc) and what it's based on.
    • by Oakey (311319)
      I don't see the big deal about Skype, to me it just appears to be like any other Instant Messaging service, no? I can do exactly the same thing with MSN, although according to the site they say MSN's audio quality is lower.

      However, as I said, it seems nothing more than another IM client, and you can bet your ass MS will go right ahead and implement a similar thing into Messenger.
    • by onion2k (203094) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:36AM (#9385250) Homepage
      Basically, they are going to spend 3 billion to put themselvs out of business. Great!

      Wrong. They've realised that things like Skype will put them out of business if they don't move on, so they're shifting away from traditional voice comms and entirely into data comms. They'll change their pricing accordingly too, probably to a charge based on the amount of data you use rather than an amount of time.

      Its the old style voice telcos that are going to be disappearing.
      • I'm really interested if there will be different fees for traffic with different QoS. Because you don't want to have your phone's VoIP stream compete with the neighbours p2p streaming app.

        It is neccessary to implement QoS here, I think. And it *must* be differently priced. Else, everyone would set the QoS fields leading to a tragedy of the commons.
      • based on the amount of data you use rather than an amount of time.

        So this spells the eventual end of unmetered broadband from BT. Which means that when this happens, any other ISP that offers unmetered broadband will eat up BTs business. Why should anyone pay for a per gig broadband account with BT when they can pay the same money for an unlimited account from another ISP AND get Skype/VOIP for telephony as well?
    • if you can use that skype without buying a data connection, then they might lose... ...which is basically why they're doing these investments, to not go out of business and to be better prepared for providing that data connection.

      -
    • Out of business? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ShepyNCL (740977)

      BT seem to be gearing up for something, or reacting to something. Its strange for them to have such a flurry of activity as they have had of late, normally they are quite the epitome of corporate dawdling on products and issues.

      Seems that they are wanting to seriously get themselves some press time, and in my opinion are using some clever marketing to do so.

      Look at the ammount of new services / announcements / products they are kicking out the door at the moment listed on El Reg.

  • background info (Score:3, Informative)

    by dncsky1530 (711564) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:01AM (#9385142) Homepage
    This might help: [fact-index.com]
    The public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the concatenation of the world's public circuit-switched [fact-index.com] telephone [fact-index.com] networks, in much the same way that the Internet [fact-index.com] is the concatenation of the world's public IP [fact-index.com]-based packet-switched [fact-index.com] networks. Originally a network of fixed-line analog telephone systems, the PSTN is now almost entirely digital, and now includes mobile [fact-index.com] as well as fixed telephones.
  • Grreat...but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lorhk (746477) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:02AM (#9385144) Homepage
    It fills me with dread to hear this news. I'm living in an area where BT have still not yet managed to install a DSL network. To hear that they've got more plans when they haven't even finished their old broadband roll out after god knows how many years seems plain stupid. It makes me angry.
  • by MancDiceman (776332) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:08AM (#9385168)
    This is a fairy tale dreamt up for investors, and you can expect within 2 years an announcement that it's all much harder than expected.

    The UK phone network is not a simple beast, and not like any other phone network in the world. I suspect they're putting down the plan and hoping that they can start angling for some government "investment" to replace the absolute crud we have in place at the moment.

    I would advise caution however, when BT announce anything at all. Remember this is the company who announced "universal" broadband 15 years ago and sat on the technology when it became available until they were effectively bullied into it.
  • As usual... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dj245 (732906) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:19AM (#9385203) Homepage
    The press conference sounds like this is a very good thing. However, Voip for an entire country is a really bad idea. My personal experience with consisted of dropped calls, bad connections, lag, and echos. Not to mention the week of one-way voice, where people could hear me but I couldn't hear them; which finally gave me no choice but to cancel the service.

    The technology for this just isn't ready. The internet wasn't designed for having all these low-latency desiring services tacked onto it, and not everyone has a 50ms ping. What worries me about this is that the brits don't seem to have a choice in the matter, and are being shepherded into this under the guise of "new technology, newer is better".

    The sad truth is the individual pieces work ok, but put the ISP, the routers, the voip boxes together, and you've got one hell of a mess.

    • Re:As usual... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xrikcus (207545) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:22AM (#9385210)
      But it's a very different thing trying to use VOIP over the internet itself, general public data networks with little by way of service guarantees, and converting a managed telecom backbone network to use IP.
    • The Internet Protocol was originally designed for non realtime applications. In the last few decades it has been shoehorned into various realtime applications , IP telephony being one, online games being another. And it sort of works. But not very well without a HELL of a lot of high end hardware to help it along. Some things are best left to propriatary protocols , they do one thing and they do it well. Speech is one of these things that would be better served with one of these (and in fact a lot are used)
    • meh.

      It's going to work when done properly, they'll own the whole network so they can make it work properly. They won't be dependant on other people having their networks working.. like when using the internet itself.

      .
    • by Epeeist (2682)
      I expect that they will be using MPLS technology. This would allow them to tag voice traffic and improve its QoS.

      This will, of course, only work on networks that they run, so expect poor QoS if you have to make calls that cross networks, such as international calls.
    • Re:As usual... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AliasTheRoot (171859)
      Who said they were using the Internet to provide the backbone for their IP network?
  • by Andy Smith (55346) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:38AM (#9385254) Homepage
    What I think would be interesting is if people who are familiar with the technology would explain how this changeover could be done in such a way as to have (a) the most negative impact on consumers and (b) the most unfairly anti-competitive impact on the telecoms industry.

    Then in six years we can look back at this thread and see if that's how BT did it.
  • It really is a nice idea, but the concept of BT managing to do anything in a timely (or even successful) manner is entirely incomprehensable.

    It took them ten years to get to the current stage of broadband, and that hardly involved much work. This won't be completed until around 2099.
    • by Alioth (221270)
      BT have done it before. They moved from a mostly mechanically switched local exchange network (all the old Strowgers) and old-school electronic exchanges to System X/System Y digital exchanges for the entire country in approximately ten years. This was a phenomenal amount of work.

      The reason broadband has taken so long is that it doesn't make them much money. The reason they managed to switch the entire network, trunk routes and all, from analogue and mechanical switching to an all digital network is this:
  • Regulator approval (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WarwickRyan (780794)
    It's worth pointing out that this may not be a done deal.

    In the UK the telecoms industry has until recently been regulated by an organisation called Oftel. They have recently been replaced by a much broader regulator called Ofcom (http://www.ofcom.org.uk/).

    Their job is to try and ensure that the communications industry as a whole remains competitive. Which generally involves keeping BT on a short leash.

    This is the first major announcement from BT since Ofcom came into existence, so they may want attemp
  • Cheap? (Score:4, Funny)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @04:50AM (#9385280)
    They also say that current cheap broadband products will more than likely not be viable in five years time

    BT have cheap broadband products? Yikes, they've kept that well hidden!
  • by Afty0r (263037) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @05:02AM (#9385311) Homepage
    One of these would be extremely good for the UK and very forward thinking, the other would be investing money in a technology already straining to bursting point...

    And on another note, how cool will it be to have links like <a href="phonecall:phone.mydomain.com">Phone Me!</a> on websites - how long until we have that I wonder?
  • The article briefly mentions converging land line and mobile services. Tie that in with recent articles about bluephone [btplc.com] and BT OpenZone [btopenzone.com] and things start to look very interesting for telephony in the uk!
  • BT coward.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I work for BT and have known about this for a few weeks now, seems like a move in the right direction

    1000 people will have it tested in the south of England in 2005 I belive

    Now they just have to start offering good internet and phone products to win customers back ;)
  • Fears people have. (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheRealJFM (671978)
    BT (British Telecom) used to be a public subsiduary of the British post office (I believe). However, despite the fact it is its own company, it is *heavily* regulated by Ofcom, the telecom regulator. Basicly, about 90% of UK broadband providers provide ADSL (Asymectrical DSL - meaning faster Dl that Ul) from BTs network. This wasn't the case but Ofcom forced BT to allow other networks to run on the network at low cost, and also forced BT to allow very cheap rates for commercial isps to offer unlimited 56
  • For those who can't wait for BT,

    Asterisk [asterisk.org] is a complete PBX in software. It runs on Linux and provides all of the features you would expect from a PBX and more. Asterisk does voice over IP in three protocols, and can interoperate with almost all standards-based telephony equipment using relatively inexpensive hardware.

    Asterisk provides Voicemail services with Directory, Call Conferencing, Interactive Voice Response, Call Queuing. It has support for three-way calling, caller ID services, ADSI, SIP and H.

  • Core Network (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davetza (117689) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @06:39AM (#9385577)
    I think a lot of people including the press are missing the point here. The main thing here is not VoIP or fibre it is that BT are going to be migrating all of their services onto ONE IP network off of there existing PSTN, ATM and IP networks.

    Obviously while this will eventually have implications for end users (BT are talking of a broadband dialtone) the main benefits will be a big cost saving for BT and the ability to quickly deploy new services onto the network.
  • Quoth the poster: "They also say that current cheap broadband products will more than likely not be viable in five years time."

    This means:
    "Mr Beal hinted, however, that the cheap broadband telephony deals available at the moment may not continue." (from bbc article).
    NOT that broadband itself is going to get more expensive...
  • by fiji (4544) *
    [I posted this to the other VoIP thread, but it is a useful tool]

    You can simulate a VoIP call and get the MOS voice quality score. So if you want to see how your Wireless setup fares, visit testyourvoip.com [testyourvoip.com].

    Even if you don't care about VoIP, it is a useful test of the latency and bandwidth of your connection. VoIP is pretty sensitive to late packets so this tool highlights connectivity problems.

    -ben
  • by optical-damage (786842) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @10:21AM (#9387566)
    Telecom Italia already carries 80% of its national backbone telephone calls on an IP based network infrastructure, and something like 40% of their international calls.

    This is the back-end of the service, multiplexing together thousands of calls over high speed (2.5 and 10Gb/second) network links. The network also uses class of service and many other configuration setups to ensure a consistent quality of service for the traffic flow. You can be sure everything will be massively resilient. In addition this traffic won't traverse the public Internet at all, but will be on a private network (though gatewayed to the Internet for connectivity to other services). This will allow BT to guarantee they wont be hit by Internet related issues like congestion, black-hole routing and so on. Dont compare this service to public Internet VoIP, its NOTHING like it.

    Personally I think this is a fantastic move, and will really help the UK take advantage of up and coming technologies over the next decade.

    PS there is already an Internet standard to map IP addresses to public phone numbers, and there is also work on integrating VoIP into the DNS infrastructure!

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