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AT&T Announces VoIP Program 120

An anonymous reader writes "DeviceForge reports that AT&T has unveiled a program to foster the 'development, delivery, and adoption' of emerging voice over IP (VoIP) applications, capabilities, and devices. The program, based on proprietary AT&T specifications, is intended to enable 'select vendors' to test applications and equipment against AT&T specs and thereby ensure compatibility with AT&T's evolving VoIP communication services. AT&T has invited industry leaders representing application developers, equipment, device manufacturers, and silicon vendors to participate in the program in order to 'shape and scale' the emerging VoIP market."
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AT&T Announces VoIP Program

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:06PM (#10335869)
    For home users anyway. I still need a phone line for DSL. I still need a phone line for emergency services (VOIP won't work if the rest of the power is out, the regular phone was). I rarely make long distance calls. Maybe it's just not for me?
    • by Em Ellel ( 523581 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:37PM (#10336070)
      For home users anyway. I still need a phone line for DSL. I still need a phone line for emergency services (VOIP won't work if the rest of the power is out, the regular phone was). I rarely make long distance calls. Maybe it's just not for me?

      A - Cable modems or non-phone based "DSL" (wireless broadband, etc.)

      B - Business uses - especially intersite PBX bridging and off-site extensions

      C - Cheap international

      D - A great deal of POTS service network is running or planning to run VOIP behind the scenes instead of analog connection with SS7 control protocol.


    • I enjoy it a lot. I can talk to people I meet on online dating services [] for essentially free. California, Maine, doesn't matter. I like the long distance aspect the best of all.
    • Well, it sounds like what AT&T is trying to do is come up with products and services that make it alluring for you.
    • That's because you're thinking about it from a customer point of view. This thing is industry-driven.

      How's this for a businss model:
      1. Spend a fortune setting up gateways, low-cost routing infrastructure/algorithms and building up your user base via a hosted-website.
      2. Then let your users call each other for $0.00 per minute
      3. PROFIT!

      Oh, wait a minute...
    • Well I have let my two sisters kids live here for a bit for school purposes (community college within 1/4 mile or so). They had been running up some massive long distance bills, now with VOIP over my cable modem it costs me 29.99 a month to let em have at it all they like instead of trying to stop some of their calls that previously added up to well over a hundred dollar phone bill on a fairly regular basis.

      Even maintaining a single POTS line with no long distance for emergency purposes basically i'm maki
  • Yeah, Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by christopherfinke ( 608750 ) <> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:07PM (#10335871) Homepage Journal
    AT&T has unveiled a program to foster the "development, delivery, and adoption" of emerging voice over IP (VoIP) applications, capabilities, and devices. The program, based on proprietary AT&T specifications...
    If they really wanted to foster "development, delivery, and adoption," they'd use open standards instead of their proprietary specs.
    • Re:Yeah, Right (Score:2, Interesting)

      by citiZen2010 ( 802381 )

      If they really wanted to foster "development, delivery, and adoption," they'd use open standards instead of their proprietary specs.

      Indeed... this from TomsNetworking []: "The VIIP program is based on "proprietary specifications" created by AT&T and is designed to "stimulate and foster" applications and devices compatible with AT&T's VoIP services."

    • At least AT&T is warming up to VoIP, that is a lot more than other "dinosaurs" like the record labels and movie studios have done to get aclimated to new technologies. It may be proprietary, but at least their solution isn't to legislate it out of existance.
    • Re:Yeah, Right (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many from which to choose."

      The "proprietary specifications", in this case, define a set of choices amongs the bazillions of possible combinations of competing VoIP protocols that AT&T wants to use in their network. H.323? H.248? RFC 3261? MGCP? SGCP? SCCP? SIP? OSP? SAP? RVP? G.723? G.729? G.729A? All of these are open standards, and AT&T's standards are perfectly "open" in that they're giving them away to companies so that those companie
    • MGCP is not proprietary. Next.
    • Re:Yeah, Right (Score:1, Flamebait)

      Indeed. They're now *fighting* VOIP, not embracing it.

      Also, great timing for this story - right on the heels of the asterisk announcement.

      If you thought p2p was a disruptive technology, just wait until the masses get a hold of VOIP (yes, I'm asserting that voip is "not there" yet, but it will be soon).

      You think **AA lobbying congress is bad? Just wait until every established telecom interest digs their tendrils into capitol hill on this.

      All the infrastructure owners will be relgated to selling bits per
    • Re:Yeah, Right (Score:3, Informative)

      by drmerope ( 771119 )
      AT&T has been working on this for many years now (they started really investigating VoIP back in '98 as part of their plan to use their (then) vast cable network to offer phone service in competition with the baby bells.)

      This is not proprietary in the way you likely think it is. All of their work has been based on open standards (of which there is a confusion! of conflicting open standards). VoIP equipment vendors all tend to implement "something" which is sort of like some published standard but ra
    • proprietary standards worked for cisco when they invented the internet router. they worked for microsoft when they invented commercial software for microcomputers.

      they aren't working for any sort of interconnected network any more. you can use eigrp all you want inside your own cloud, but it won't connect you to Da ISH, you need BGP.

      if ATT wants to play with proprietary standards, OK, but if they don't use h.323 outbound, they will not interconnect with a central office gateway and get to the rest of th
    • They forgot to mention "development, delivery, and adoption," oh, and did we forget MAKE MONEY. Ooops...must have forgot.

      You can't make any kind of margins without having some kind of lock-in. Sad, but true.
  • Let's see it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PtM2300 ( 546277 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:09PM (#10335892)
    That's kind of funny. The company I work for works closely with AT&T and provides them with a lot of revenue. In our weekly meeting with our AT&T team today, they told us their VoIP road map is being delayed based on problems they're having with Juniper. So if AT&T wants to speed of the VoIP process, they could get their own plan going before influencing others.
  • In other words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmcmunn ( 307798 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:10PM (#10335898)

    AT&T have chosen a few people that they know are going to develop things the way they want in order to shape the early market into an AT&T furure?

    I'm sorry but why is this important news? It seems pretty obvious that AT&T would want to get a foot into the door. And I don't really like the idea of AT&T having their proprietary stuff into the framework any more than I like Sony forcing their tech into the next gen of Dvd. We need to get the standards set early, not get 10 companies with 10 ideas.

    Just my opinion.
  • by flechette_indigo ( 738323 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:11PM (#10335904)
    Their business model was threatened (by vonage etc) so they're moving over. How much u want to bet that they don't lower their rates?
  • Dear AT&T, (Score:5, Funny)

    by eSims ( 723865 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:14PM (#10335924) Homepage
    **snide intone**
    Do you feel threatened by the competition?

    And well you should...

    Sure, go ahead... try to control VOIP...

    It won't work...

    **/snide intone**
    **angry intone**
    Your days are numbered and I for one am GLAD!

    You ripped off the consumer for far to many years and now your whole industry is facing devastation at the hands of cell phone providers and OSS/paid VOIP providers.

    Good riddance!
    **/angry intone>**

    Yours Truly,

    An EX-customer
    • by pchan- ( 118053 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:08PM (#10336227) Journal
      Dear Customer,

      You many not realize this, but we are a government sanctioned monopoly. We own all the phones and all the phone lines in this country, including the wiring in your house. You will fall in place and pay for phone service!

      No, wait, what we meant was that we own the entire long distance phone system in the United States.

      Wait, I'm told that we actually don't own anything anymore. Well, we can be cool, like all these other companies. Here, you want VOIP, you got it! We'll create a standard just for you, so you can get the same friendly, reliable service you've come to rely on from AT&T. Our proprietary standards will allow us to control the, uh, quality of your phone service and bring it to the same level or reliability and affordability you've come to expect from our land-lines. We know you have a choice in your telecommunication options, and choice can be confusing. That is why we are doing our best to make everyone out there exactly the same. You know, like the mobile phone industry. Look at how well that turned out.


      * Our corporate logo's resemblence to the Death Star is purely coincidental.
      • I hate to break it to you, but AT&T does NOT own the wires in your house.

        There's what's often called a DMARC or the point of demarcation that separates what is your responsibility and what is the phone company's. This is typically where your "white box outside" is. If you want your phone company to work on your side of the box they charge you, however they're legally bound to making sure the service up to that point works. If you have bad connections inside your house, but they're fine at the DMARC,
    • Dear Thomas Edison,

      All your incandescent bulbs are being replaced with Flourescent, neon, and LED lamps. Also, the days of your motion picture projector are limited with the dawning of totally digital motion pictures.
      Please give our regards Mr. Tesla.

      Yours Truly,

      The Future.
    • actually, the rip-off was that the politicians regulated the cost of local calling below the cost. AT&T had to make up the difference with long distance rates being higher. If it wasn't regulated, they would have had higher local rates and lower lang distance rates. AT&T was the best thing to happen to the phone system. We have worse Quality of Service now than we used to. And inovation has gone to hell due to the lower R&D in the telecoms (which AT&T did a hell of a lot of). It's than
  • Let me guess (Score:5, Interesting)

    by caffeineboy ( 44704 ) <skidmore.22 @ o s u . edu> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:16PM (#10335942)
    It'll be just as great a deal as their landline service...

    • Extra 2.50 for call waiting
    • extra 7.00 for voice mail, plus an extra 2.50 per mailbox and a charge for each message.
    • Extra 2.50 for three way calling
    • Extra charges for caller ID blocking, caller ID blocker blocking, and caller ID blocker blocker blocking.
    • Extra charge for "line backer", which means that they will come to the house and fix the non-premise wiring that is not my freaking problem anyway. Extra charge for touching a phone in the house, and an additional $70 for the service call.
    • And of course, for toggling any of these options on my account, a $10 charge each for "installation".

    GODS I am glad that I don't have to deal with AT&T anymore. Hell, I would take a really crappy VOIP company over AT&T, if only to avoid giving that crappy monopoly a cent more of my money.

    Unless they are also planning to totally change their crappy attitude towards customers and their nickle-and-dime pricing scheme, this won't change a thing. I would love to see POTS go out of business forever.

    • Don't forget the many additional charges masquerading as mysterious "service fees". Disingenuous bastards.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        This reminds me of an investigation I saw on TV, perhaps on 20/20, where they brought in a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon to figure out what exactly the charges were for, in the end they hadn't clue.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...AT&T will not allow you to transmit any non-AT&T packets on their network. You must rent all your packets from AT&T.
    • You forgot the $5.00 per month for the "privilege of doing business with us." That's when they lost my landline long distance business after 20 years.
    • Don't forget about supporting the rural users. Land Line Telephone in the USA is socialism.

      Go with Vonage [] and dump the fees.

      Just a happy Vonage user...disclaimers apply... enjoy.

    • Your state public utility comission [] regulates telco tarriffed pricing AND features they can offer. Not your telco. Next.
      • Yes, but they don't regulate what features are included with the cost of the line, nor do they ask the AT&T reps to act as if they are annoyed with you should you want service on your account.

        Nor do they dictate that whenever you call about a screw up that is their problem, or about the phone drop to your house being down AGAIN, that they start by treating you like an a$$hole and finish by trying to hard-sell you "line backer" or voice mail.

        My point is simply that I celebrate an alternative to a util
      • Sorry, the state PUCs regulate the *maximum* prices. The phone companies could charge less if they wanted to. But they don't want to.

        In short, the PUCs are there to keep the greedy phone companies in check.

        You probably have been duped by the script they read to people who complain to customer service about their extra fees.

    • Don't forget the $2.50/month for the un service of NOT publishing your number in the phone book.
    • I signed up for AT&T's Callvantage VOIP service after looking at Vonage, Packet8, and others. Now, I'm not looking for free long distance to Bangledesh... I wanted a replacement for my second POTS line at my house that I use for business, and needed the following things:

      1. Full-featured voicemail accessible when I'm not in the office (e-mail integration a big plus)
      2. Flexible options to forward calls to my cellphone when I'm not in the office
      3. High call quality
      4. Extremely reliable voicemail and forw
    • Don't forget the extra $2.50 for TONE dialing! They even charged this years and years after tone dialing was put in our town - when they didn't even have equipment to block tones from working on accounts that didn't pay for tone dialing. Instead, after a while they let you know that you were using tone dialing without the tone-dialing feature, and then charged you $2.50/mo (well, something around there).

      Gah the phone company sucks.
  • Slashthink (Score:4, Funny)

    by Pikhq ( 728580 ) <> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:19PM (#10335952) Journal
    #slashthink --debug --article current --att --voip
    Slashthink started!
    VoIP is good. ATT is bad. But them supporting VoIP makes them good. But ATT is bad. But them supporting VoIP makes them good. But ATT is bad. But now they are good. But they're bad! ATT is bad. No, they are good. No they are bad. Good! Bad! Angelic! Demonic! Good! Evil!
    Slashthink allocating more memory. All physical memory allocated.

    slashthink: Segmentation Fault. Core Dumped
    Panic!: Kernel memory overwritten
    • This is not a battle between good and evil. It is a battle between smart and dumb. AT&T is laughing last, and obviously didn't get the joke. Their VoIP solution will gain acceptance outside of their long distance service and their current corporate customers about the same time that Linux users get down on their knees to blow Bill Gates.
  • by Illserve ( 56215 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:22PM (#10335972)
    The one named VOIP?

    It's sailed.

    Your ticket clearly said 1995.

  • by lawaetf1 ( 613291 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:22PM (#10335978)
    My home ISP, speakeasy, announced the other day that they are offering VOIP. Considering that they also have a no-telco-service-required DSL package, one can pretty much drop off the grid.
  • by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:29PM (#10336017)
    Is it open-source?

    The hardware needs to run code, and the machine will need more code to interface the Internet.

    If it isn't open, we can just wait for the next guy to implement it open and flock there.

    Honestly, I feel mesh networks will render communications monopolies irrelevant anyhow.
  • by Large Bogon Collider ( 815523 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:29PM (#10336019)
    Since they know that traditional long distance is not like to survive in the face of 1) cheap phone cards and 2) VOIP, this is their (very late) strategy to get in. Because of its size, they are probaby trying to muscle their way in. Time will tell how successful that they are. The bigger question is whether any new offering will just steal away from its own customers rather than lure new ones.
  • by Blackbird_Highway ( 756085 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:42PM (#10336102)
    I've worked as a design engineer in the telecom equipment field for many years. Time after time, I've seen AT&T jerk around telco equipment makers. They always have some special requirements, that are completely different than all the other carriers. They always promise some huge order, if you'll just spend months developing customized equipment just for them. Then later on, they say "Oh, never mind, we've changed our minds. We don't want that anymore". The first time it happened, I thought it was the company I worked for that somehow screwed up the deal. Then it happened again, then again at a different company. Then I talked to engineers at other companies, and they had all had the same experience! This looks like AT&T just wants to jerk that chain again.
  • by beldraen ( 94534 ) <`chad.montplaisir' `at' `'> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @08:44PM (#10336113)
    I keep hearing about cheap VOIP being the bane of the phone industry, but when I actually look around for services I am always disappointed. My local land line runs about $22/month with no long-distance attached. I can buy a Sam's card and get 3.4 cents/min anywhere in the U.S. I'm lucky if I make 30 mins of calls in a month. Yet, every one of the VOIP services wants to charge $30-50 a month. Granted it's unlimited calling, but you'd have to be regularly making five hours of calls a month to even break even, let alone be getting a better deal! Doesn't anyone just have simple service that actually competes with phone lines anywhere? The closest thing I have seen is Skype, but there is no dealing in to it. I'd love to have skype's simple pay on use system.
    • At least five hours a month?

      You must not be married. My wife can put in five hours a DAY on the phone! Thank god for unlimited flat rate long distance.

    • This []was probably what you were looking for, and it took me all of a few seconds to find it.

    • What I did was check out VoicePulse [], in particular their Connect! program. If all you need is outbound calling, set up a PC running asterisk [] server and for 2.95 c/min you can make all the out bound long distance calls you need. If that number is zero, your cost will be exactly that, zero.
      For an additional $7.95/month you can get unlimited inbound calls to a number of your choice.
      I am telling you, when you do the math, this is nearly unbeatable.

      Ready to drop SBC any
    • Must not have searched very hard...

      BroadVoice [] $10 a month for DID and unlimited calls in-state. $20 a month for DID and unlimited calls to the US/Canada. [] $0.015 a minute calls to the US, no monthly fee.

      • Exactly. I use Broadvoice as I am in a similar situation to the original poster. I just need unlimited local calling, and I rarely use long distance. So I have their "in-state" plan for $9.95 per month. If I need long distance, they charge 3.9 cents per minute. If you find you start to use a lot of long distance, you could easily switch to their $19.95 plan the previous poster mentioned. It would take you over 2 hours of long distance to make up the difference.

        In my case I use Asterisk between Broadv
    • There's also Fonality []. Nice slogan too.
  • Hmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Earle Martin ( 647758 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:00PM (#10336193)
    "Shape and scale". Is that anything like "embrace and extend"?
  • A bad idea... (Score:2, Informative)

    by sipmeister ( 615618 )
    Great. Hopefully no one will fall for this attempt at adding proprietary stuff to open IETF protocols, since it will just create a mess for the consumer, much like what the multitude of cell phone standards did in the US (and GSM didn't in the rest of the world).

    There are plenty of interoperability events going on, mainly SIPit for SIP comes to mind. These are vendor neutral, just as it should be.

    Even now, what is peddled as VoIP is really PoIP, PSTN over IP (coined by Brad Templeton, I believe). It's not
  • VoIP & IP viruses?? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by monsterhead78 ( 815842 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:02PM (#10336202) Homepage
    Thinking about the latest PC worm thats going crazy around the country today, I was wondering how virus related IP traffic could effect VoIP applications.

    Just recently, I got a VoIP network packet dump from a customer, where there were many non-VoIP protocol packets addressed to a valid local VoIP endpoint, using ports 135 (loc-srv/epmap), 139 (NetBIOS), 53 (DNS), and 445 (SMB). I figured that VoIP traffic generated from this IP address probably triggered some routers or other endpoints to generate queries to this IP address, using these port numbers.

    Another thing that I got wondering about was how I do not limit port numbers that can be used for RTP/RTCP/T.38 VoIP data (not talking signaling here). For an IP endpoint with assigned IP address, any port can be assigned for these purposes. Could this cause problems on public networks?

    In my app, only RTP/RTCP/T38 data should be accepted on any IP/Port combination. Unrecognized packets are forwared to check for errors. The path for these forwarded packets could become a system bottleneck if it's not designed for a high bandwidth, and some filtering must take place.

    In the future, assuming that VoIP gains ground in public networks, doesn't it seem that viruses like todays could exploit any IP network, be it VoIP, Windows XP, whatever?

    • They never intended to run VoIP over the public network. In order to avoid these issues and to assure Quality of Service they'll run this service over a private IP network for the most part

      The only part of the network that may not be VoIP might be the local loop. That is, they might combine your VoIP traffic with your internet trafic. But at the CO filter they'll out the RTP packets, sanitize them, and send them over their private network for the long haul.

      The goal for them isn't to share voice & da

    • What the heck is a "VoIP network packet dump"? What type of signalling are you talking about? It sounds like you or your customer isn't educated enough to Layer 3 switch and deny outside access to their call control server and their voice services VLANs. I talk to people all day who spout off this kind of crap - "VoIP is not secure." "Power over Ethernet can blow up my computers." Don't blame the technology if you can't secure your network. Your voice network is only as good as your data network. If y
  • by Bilange ( 237074 ) <> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:07PM (#10336225) Journal
    Videotron (Quebec's cable provider, owns the whole 24.*.*.* IP range with another cable provider) is supposed to LAUNCH a similar VoIP service in the early 2005, article here [].

    We'll see how it works, and if it does well against Bell's telephone monopoly. I hate Bell, ill be happy to switch away from them.
  • by PtM2300 ( 546277 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:18PM (#10336288)
    I think that VoIP will be rolled out even slower than once thought. Our company just renewed long distance contracts with AT&T for just over 2 cents per minute. How much cheaper can you get before the service is free and the carrier falls apart? AT&T is already a pretty sick company, less revenue is _not_ the key to their recovery. All the business people in our company always ask why we're not using VoIP in call centers yet, and the real answer is that we're not even sure it'll be cheaper than PSTN.
  • ...proprietary AT&T specifications

    Open standards good!
    Proprietary standards bad!

    Haven't we learned this yet?

  • by jhylkema ( 545853 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @09:48PM (#10336514)
    by AT&T to remain relevant. First they were broken up [] by the Reagan administration. Then they tried to enter the wireless world by buying up McCaw Cellular for $14 billion. They did great for awhile with things like One Rate, but then they got a jackass [] for a CEO. Later, AT&T sold off wireless properties (!) in their bid to buy TCI which was a disaster. Finally, too late and many dollars too short, they switched to GSM, but it didn't work worth a damn. Finally, number portability did them in.

    What's AT&T got left? Long distance? A dying industry if there ever was one! Once again, AT&T is a year or too late to jump on this bandwagon. As has happened many times before, a once-venerable company has been run into the ground by stupid management. Don't worry, though, Zeglis will get a golden parachute and find a new company to run into the ground.

    Ahh, life in these United States . . .
  • Ironic that the company that spent decades fighting laws that allowed competition to phone service now takes advantage of offering services in methods it used to fight tooth and nail.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have a different way of looking at the (eventual?) move to VoIP. I think it's a bad idea for many reasons (most of which I imagine will eventually be resolved), but it's still going to usher in a decline in telecom standards. Don't flame me yet, for the sake of argument let's say they resolve all the issues with reliability, quality, 911 service, etc. That still leaves the ultimate deal-breaker: compression.

    Anyone here have DirecTV? Remember when they first started, how fabulous the picture was? Not
    • The thing is, there will be enough competition between carriers, that if your call compression gets too high, change to another carrier that is not compressing. Or make sure in your contract that maximum call compression levels are clearly spelled out. It is no different than existing service level contracts for purchasing network connectivity (home cable/DSL does not count.) Min sustained up and down speeds, burst rates, max down time, latency, tech support wait time. Those are just a few of the items
  • Word has it from an undisclosed AT&T employeee, The new VOIP system does not support being behind a router or NAT.

    Also according to him, the whole company has one foot in the grave and another on a bananna peel. He says they'll be bankrupt within the decade.

    I guess it's hard for a beheamoth like AT&T to have the agility to succeed in todays market. Especially when the technologies they implement are fundamentally flawed.

  • Looks like the morons at iconnecthere/delta three pushed an update to their tftp config servers that locks customers out of their OWN ata-186's. Hopefully AT&T will be more open.
  • by RebornData ( 25811 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @10:41PM (#10336810)
    I don't see why everyone is getting bent out of shape about this... the article doesn't specify much about the nature of the AT&T "specifications". It doesn't say anywhere that they're altering the VOIP standard to include proprietary elements. I'm guessing that the proprietary stuff is layered around VOIP and has a lot more to do with management and back-end systems, like automated provisioning, accounting, billing, and other things that don't involve the VOIP standard directly, but still are important parts of putting together a large-scale, robust service.

    Think about it- right now they're shipping out pre-configured TAs, which is necessary for "plug and play" functionality that will work for joe sixpack (so is Vonage). It would be better for everyone involved if Joe could go out and buy any old TA that, upon being given some the most basic information (like the address of the provider's provisioning server) would automatically download all necessary configuration. Similar to the DOCSIS standards for cable modems. Absent of an existing standard, AT&T is just trying to get the ball rolling on their own, and I'm sure Vonage & co. would do the same thing if they had similar market clout.

  • The program, based on proprietary AT&T specifications...

    The last thing we need is for VOIP specs to be owned by a company that will charge us $30/month for what should be free.

    AT&T Labs ... is working closely with silicon providers, equipment designers and manufacturers.

    Strike working closely with for conspiring to ensure a piece of the pie.

    These are the folks that have for years been charging inflated prices for POTS while claiming it's too expensive to increase bandwidth for consumer I
  • I just called my local phone company two days ago and had them switch off my AT&T service. Now my new plan, with the local carrier, costs more per minute, but has no monthly fees, no signup fee, no cancellation fee, no taxes and it won't have any per minute charges either, because I'm not going to use it! We have moved over to Skype for all long distance, including local toll calls.

    Even calling 20 miles away is cheaper with Skype. Not to mention out of state and international. Two cents a minute to eve
  • All of the partners listed are major corporations. However, ALL the innovation in VoIP has come from small companies. Seems AT&T is stuck in the old ways. I gave up on AT&T a year ago after using them for LD for 20+ years, because they wouldn't budge on calls to Singapore (35 Cents they charged me in the "personal network"). I gave them 3 months to change the rate, or they would lose me as a customer forever. Well they didn't budge and I walked to ecglongdistance and Packet8 for VoIP. They call me,
  • We installed 100 Mbps internet in 1999. While we dug all over the place, we installed multi mode, single mode, coax and Cat-5 to all houses in the block...

    Now we're running VoIP-telephony from the Internet, to the Central (where we have a Ericsson DRU unit and three special phone switches), via the Cat-5s to all houses! It really works, and it is dang cheap! ;)

    See pictures of it for yourself. Follow the link in my signature.
  • I can't understand why the /. public seems to think that AT&T and VoIP are completely incompatible. VoIP is so much more than Skype or a H323/SIP-client that you install on your PC to make 'free' calls. There's a whole infrastructure in the Telco's backbone to support your call.

    I work for Alcatel, and we're developping SoftSwitch solutions for lots of companies, including AT&T. They're probably the biggest customer.
  • *cough* We (read Verizon) already have consumer VoIP services (Called Voice Wing; super sexy, go buy it). We are also finishing up testing on our fiber to the home lines in Keller Texas (I volunteered for staff duty at the FIOS block party). It's only a matter of time before 30Mbit connections are avilable in your homes guys... Aaron de Zeeuw Verizon Creative Development
  • Not replacing the lopped-off research lab (Western Lab, er no, AT&T Lab, I mean, Bell Labs, I mean, Lucent, ummm, nevermind) with their very own.

I've got a bad feeling about this.