It’s definately ringing in the public’s ears: A fellow who usually sinks his money into commodities trading is starting to put his money on VoIP providers.
Phone companies are running scared, and they don’t know whether to jump into Internet Service in a big way, try to stifle competition, or embrace IP telephony with open arms. So they do all three, and none of it very well. Except stifling what they can. They’ve always been good at that.
I think we will see convergence coming soon, even here, in the rural West. I can see fibre optics replacing parts of the in-town network. I can see HDSL and other ways of pushing more bits over otherwise empty copper being rolled out in short order.
And I can see phone service becoming completely virtual. You just buy a number in the cities of your choice, and pay a small fee (probably flat) to get it to where you are.
Life is good.