Broad and free voice communications...
By Rick Grams
October 13, 2005
This is a capability that we all need to be aware of...
Yesterday Yahoo and Microsoft teamed up to announce the planned
linking of both instant messaging services. Included in
these services will be the ability to have voice conversations
over the Internet.
Not too long ago, Google came out with its own instant messaging
tool and voice capable program. And of course, even before
them we had the Skype program available. There are even more
voice tools available.
Ladies and Gentlemen: In case it is not clear, the ability
to speak freely across the Internet using various types of software
will soon be a true reality. It will not replace phone
services right away, but as technology continues to double (or
more) every 18 months we need to be aware of this as a community.
My concern is regarding the realm of business our City government
is currently managing. Ketchikan Public Utilities relies
heavily on the revenue generated by phone usage (and we have
some great people working for KPU). I have no idea of what
the profit margin is on the phone service, but I am of the opinion
that this profit margin must be feeling some impact due to the
new technology of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).
I sincerely hope that KPU has some sort of business plan to address
the impending threat of this technology that continues to be
a part of business and now homes. All forms of utility
services we rely on are increasing in expense; electricity, gas,
natural gas (down south) and all services relying on these primary
utilities. What would happen if we lost the ability to
provide a profitable telephone solution?
Most network/technology professionals in this town see the change
on the near horizon. The real question is - will KPU be
able to adapt? It is possible, but the organization needs
to act now.
The best way to address this is through our local elected government.
Send them a quick email asking them about the future plans for
KPU. It is a business, but it is the city's business and
therefore in the public's interest to understand the plans for
adapting to the new technologies.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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