Voice-over-IP (VoIP) has been in the works since as early as NVP in the early 1970’s… having really become mainstream in about 1991 with the first Voice over IP application, Speak Freely.
With the exception of Network Telephone Services clients who have been experiencing strictly VOIP service for some time, many have regarded VOIP merely as an add-on to America’s regular, analog-based copper and cellular voice networks — networks that are currently maintained as a matter of legal requirement.
However, the FCC is now encouraging phone networks to postulate and explore what would happen if VoIP replaced all existing PTSN, specifically, how would the system cope if the only phone numbers were Internet Protocol addresses; and if emergency calls such as 911 services were transmitted over the web?
What might be the impact of rural communities became dependent on VoIP, with no other traditional land line phone service available as a backup? Companies like Network Telephone Services that want to participate in the analysis and experiment have until late February, 2014 to draft and submit ideas. FCC is expected to grant approvals for service transition as early as March. No major markets will be effected as tests will be permitted only in discrete geographic areas or situations”. This last warning comes a reminder to telecom providers like Network Telephone Services not to become over zealous and or count their VOIP chickens before they are hatched.