Earthlink's Got a New VoIP Offering

By: VoIP Weblog

I came across this on CNet today:

"The line-powered service works just like a plain old telephone system," said Jim Bagnato, director of voice services for EarthLink. "You simply plug your existing phone into the wall and it works. But the calls go over an IP network, so you're also able to get all the IP features." These new features include e-mail-based voice mail that lets people listen to their messages by clicking on a link in an e-mail, a blocked caller list that stops annoying calls from ringing or leaving voice mail messages, an integrated contact list that merges contacts in e-mail with the phone service, and many other call features.

EarthLink is charging $69.95 per month for its top tier package, which includes unlimited calling within the U.S. plus an 8mbps (megabits per second) download and 1mbps upload DSL service. For customers who are too far from the central office to get the full 8mbps, the company is offering an unlimited calling plan with DSL service that has 1.5mbps downloads and 384kbps (kilobits per second) uploads for $64.95. And it is also offering a 500 minute calling plan with 1.5mbps downloads and 384kbps uploads for $49.95.

Sounded rather intriguing. What are the potential negatives here (other than the $70 per month)?

Earthlink helped usher in the internet craze (gave us all our freedom from AOL). Are they on to something here, or did their 8 mbps download promise just turn my pretty little head?