A Quick Look At The Story Of Internet Telephony

Everyone has seen a commercial on television that advertises using your internet connection as your phone connection but very few people know the history of how all of that started. In actuality the history of VoIP technology is relatively young considering how long it seems like it has been available to the general public.

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Some people may remember the very early days of VoIP and how it had its inauspicious start as a piece of software on the shelf of your local computer store and with some help in the technology area by some very big companies VoIP has taken off by leaps and bounds.

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There is a very good chance that if you own a television then you have seen the commercials advertising VoIP phone service. You may have seen one of the advertisements by some of the commercial companies offering VoIP or you may have seen your local cable television company advertising that they now offer phone service along with your cable television and high speed internet service. The way the cable company does that is VoIP and the history of VoIP is as brief as it is explosive.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and basically that means the ability to talk over your internet connection. It all started in 1995 when some computer engineers started to play around with the idea of having real time voice conversations travel over an internet connection. This was before high speed internet was widely accepted and what they came up with was a version of the telephone that ran on the computer. A company called Vocaltec purchased the idea and then started to sell it commercially from the shelves of various large computer discount computer stores all over the country. There were a lot of draw backs for that first version of VoIP. For one thing the quality of the signal was always bad and in order for it to work both parties needed to be on a computer. So it sat on the shelves and no one really paid much attention to it except for that small group of computer enthusiasts that always picks up on the newest fad. VoIP may have been inefficient but it certainly did not go away.

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In 1998 equipment started to come out that allowed people to make computer to phone calls that were still relatively poor quality but now some of the industry’s biggest companies started to see the real potential in the VoIP business. The problem that needed to be solved was the technology’s complete dependence on needing to be hooked up to a computer. Cisco came aboard and soon developed technology and equipment that allowed VoIP to happen without a computer being on and operating. In the year 2000 this technology started to come together and VoIP started to explode on to the market place. By 2002 Vonage was signing up residential customers and soon people all over the United States were making this low cost alternative to their land line phone service their only in house phone service. There were a lot of bumps in the road but VoIP began to really take off and now there are billions of dollars tied up in the technology and millions of residential and commercial customers all over the world. It still is not quite perfect yet but seeing how far it has come in only a little over a decade there is no doubt that VoIP will be giving land lines a real run for their money very soon.