VoIP Quality Questioned

16 Jul ’05

An extensive study that questions the audio quality of VoIP is making the rounds in the blogosphere this week. The Globe has the details. Gist:

Internet-based telephone services are still very inferior to traditional phone connections in reliability and sound quality, according to an extensive study that judged Vonage and AT&T CallVantage best among the top U.S. providers.

Keynote Systems Inc., known for measuring the performance of popular websites, also found that the reliability of Voice-over-Internet phone service is significantly affected by the provider of the high-speed Internet line used to dial a call.

I recently cancelled one of my Vonage lines because the call quality was unacceptable when two calls were made simultaneously. My network uses Rogers Extreme for internet access, which should be adequate, but I don’t have the hardware to configure QoS at the router level – only at the VoIP adaptor, which is at the end of one of many spokes in the network – it’s possible that would make a difference. Otherwise, I’m finding that call quality ranges from 75-100% of POTS quality, for about 50% of the price and with twice the features. I’ve had two outages in 6 months, and in each case the network immediately routed calls to a POTS backup line.

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