Telcos Prices Go South Due To VoIP
The growing popularity of VoIP is forcing the telecom industry to slash prices as customers are opting for VoIP. New York Times has already stated that Verizon and AT&T have slashed their phone service prices by a significant percentage in order to counter VoIP.
Verizon is offering unlimited phone service at $35 down from earlier price of $60 per month whereas AT&T is offering unlimited long distance calls for $40 which is down from $50 last year and it represents quite a steep fall. These companies have been in a heated debate in Congress over Network Neutrality which is called the Internet's first amendment. Due to rising competition telcos and cable companies have been lobbying in Congress in order to set up a tiered network through which they can maximize revenue by giving faster, higher quality connections to companies and web entities willing to pay more for it. VoIP companies are to be included among these companies.
The proponents of net neutrality fear that such system would create a substantial barrier to entry for small businesses which had the benefit of a cheap and easily accessible internet which helps leveling the e-commerce playing field. Proponents also believe that the proposed legislation would give telcos a lot of power to pick and choose which web presences are granted higher quality connections even to the extent of blocking some services. As of now Congress has denied Net Neutrality protection due to lack of demonstrated need.