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What is VoIP?
Voice over internet protocol or VOIP as it's commonly called, has been around for many years but until now the quality and the speed of an average home computer and the lack of Broadband has prevented the use the VOIP system.

What's changed?
By using the latest technology most of these problems have now been overcome. Millions of consumers now have the faster internet system to their home computer called Broadband so we are seeing a big reduction in the cost of local and overseas phone calls.

Why is VoIP cheaper?
The difference between using VoIP and the landline system is that a VoIP call goes via the internet and a landline call travels over a copper wire cable. The cost to create and service a land line system is more expensive thank travelling via the internet which does not need a physical link. Australia has also suffered from lack of competition with Telstra monopolising the provsion of all landline phone services.

What is the difference in costs between VoIP and Telstra?
Charges to all capital cities in Australia on VoIP cost about 10 cents for an unlimited call. Telstra calls cost between 17.5 and 30 cents depending on your line rental plan and then you pay for any extended time after 3 minutes. Calls to London, New York, Paris and Rome on VoIP cost about 3 cents per minute while using Telstra can cost $3.10 for the first hour plus extra charges if you extend your call.

What do you need to use VoIP?
Consumers will need a Broadband internet connection or if they have a paid cable TV, such as Optus or Foxtel they simply ring their service provider and get a broadband connection. The cost should be about $29.00 per month.

What if I haven't got Broadband?
If you haven't got a Broadband connection the cost is about $29.00 a month to be connected and for maximum convenience you will need to purchase, a special device called an Analogue Telephone Adaptor (ATA) to attach to your phone. In the average home this expense is more than compensated by the saving you make on phone calls. There are many different varieties of ATAs on the market but if you are prepared to make call via your computer you will not need an ATA.

Is VoIP here to stay?
VoIP is certainly going to become more popular as the technology improves and people become more aware of its advantages. There is no doubt that VoIP is here to stay.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a method for taking analog audio signals like the kind you hear when you talk on the phone, and turning them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.

How is this useful?
VoIP can turn a standard Internet connection into a way to place free phone calls. The practical upshot of this is that by using some of the free VoIP software that is available to make Internet phone calls, you are bypassing the phone company (and its charges) entirely.
A new revolution in cheap telephone calls is making its way into thousands of homes, bringing with it savings that many families could only dream of making in the past. Voice over IP (VoIP) makes it possible to use data pipelines normally reserved for internet traffic for local, national, international and mobile calls, totally by-passing tradition fixed phone lines. The result is hugely reduced bills for all calls.

If you make many short phone call you can take advantage of a timed local and national call plan for $5 per month. This means that your local and national calls are charged at 1 cent per minute. If you make lots of 2 or 3 minute calls this equates to 2 or 3 cents per phone call compared to a minimum of 17.5 cents on the standard Telstra line rental plan.

The technology is sound too, having been tried and tested since the late 1990s.
The technology is gaining popularity amongst households. Over a decade ago people were using VoIP but the technology wasn't good enough. Now its so good that all of the big companies are using it.

What do I need?
(1) A permanent broadband internet connection (ADSL, wireless or cable).
(2) VoIP adaptor for maximum flexability but calls can be made via your computer alone.