In the wake of researching a whole bunch of Internet access devices --including a surprising number of broadband boxes designed to link a computer or a small network to DSL or cable modem Internet links -- I've learned something new and potentially interesting that may encourage enterprises to switch from their primary voice service to VoIP. Let me explain:
Normal POTS service is "phantom powered"--a fancy way of saying it has it own source of electricity and doesn't need to plug into another power supply (like a wall outlet) to stay powered. This explains why ordinary phones often keep working even when the power goes out.
Some businesses have decided not to jump onto the VoIP bandwagon even though rates and service deals are extremely good. The importance of a working phone link has kept many from switching because they want that line to keep working when the power goes out (an IP-only phone, by contrast, is as dead as everything else that needs juice when the power dies). In the course of researching these Internet access devices, I noticed that many of them not only included phone jacks and gear to permit conventional POTS handsets to use VoIP, but also that many of them touted "automatic failover to POTS" if and when the power should fail.
However, more businesses are doing this math and switching. I believe this helps account for the increasing momentum toward more use of IP telephony.
Ed Tittel is a regular contributor to numerous TechTarget Web sites. A genuine technology fiend and equipment junkie, he's got some great IP phones in his house right now, and is enjoying calling his way into the 21st century.