Tuesday 23 October 2007

Cairns City Council does a VoIP deal

As a 100% home VoIP consumer, I'm delighted to learn that Cairns City Council has commenced the roll out of IP telephony technology by engaging the services of Dimension Data.

This is part of Council's three-year plan to adopt more unified internal communications.

IP telephony Active Directory technology allows users to operate unified communications applications via a single directory and integrates several data communication platforms.

I know this all sounds like geek speak to many, but I kinda love embracing and surfing on new technology. I have blogged about VoIP previously, but it's such an interesting subject that is really on the edge of where any Broadband user should be embracing.

If you're on a 512K connection, you really should upgrade, to get the best performance from this. I'm on a 20meg ADSL2+ on a Telstra Bigpond Liberty connection. However usually pull an download of between 8 and 12 meg, depending on the time of dayu and how many Smithfield High School students are surfing porn after school, before their parents get home.

For those that don't know what VoIP is, it stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Basically this is where you use a standard telephone, or one of those silly Skype or MSN ones you can buy from Kmart for over $100.

With my VoIP provider, FreeCall, I am able to call anywhere in Australia, UK, USA, and most of Europe for $0.01c/min, and $0.02c/min to New Zealand. I can also access these rates no matter where I am, as long as I have access to the net. All you need is a Analogue Telephone Adaptor, which sits between your Broadband modem and your telephone line. Your standard home telephone plugs in the back, and you're away!

There's nearly 50 VoIP providers in Australia.

Council's move to embrace IP telephony will allow to keep identities consistent across a number of directories including voice, and is currently under going a pilot phase with 30 staff. Over time, it will replace desk phones and deploy software to 1000 users.

VoIP is not largely promoted by the big telcos, for obvious reason: there's nil toll call revenue in it when you don't use the traditional copper wire than runs down the length and breadth of the country. Some other smaller providers, like AAPT and People Telecom often use IP bandwidth to connect you to other fixed line customers, therefore the quality of the toll is not as good as Telstra or Optus will maintain.

I have to say that I'm a huge fan of the Whirlpool site, which can educate you with a lot of things regarding emerging technology. It's an independent, non-commercial, community website and run by a team of volunteers and is devoted to keeping everyone informed about the state of broadband in Australia. It's almost 10 years old and has become the premier destination about broadband internet resource.

Whirlpool was rather active during the rise, fall, rise, fall and eventual death of Rawnot, I mean Rawnet.

So if you have a broadband connection, it's sitting there active 24/7, you'd be a fooll not to embrace VoIP at home.

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