Over here, fixed line telephony is a bit cheaper monthly than on your end of the pond, but then, the big players won’t give you free local calls. Kinda trade off, all in all not too bad. The introduction of Voice over IP is changing the landscape fast. The former monopolist, still holding 80% of the market has set out a strategy to change to IP only, selling boxes doing that, in your home, totally ignoring one of the major upsides of VOIP called Softphones, software on your PC (or even a handset) that, when connected to the internet anywhere in the world, gives you your inbound number and calling your mates local rate. Anyway.

A friend in the US is starting a small business, rented a really nice place etc etc. She doesn’t REALLY need a phone line there, but she’s considering a credit card machine for convenience to her clients. Oh and internet would be nice too. The place is wired to AT&T, so I checked there. Dumdiedum, Callvantage is really cool (yeah, I know, same softphone issue), only $20 a month, provided there is some DSL. Better than the $40 for a normal phone line. OK, let’s get some DSL from the nice guys too. Yippee, a throttled line for only $14. NOT BAD, or is it?

Ordering that stuff revealed that the premises address was listed as business, so residential service did not apply. Exactly the same DSL product was now 50-ish. Do they really think businesses use MORE internet? Don’t get me laughing, with all the p2p downloading. Consumers use WAY more bandwidth per line.
So what is the end of the story?

  1. Feeling so f***ed that the price didn’t matter anymore
  2. She will just use her cellphone
  3. She will refrain from internet access there
  4. She will not get a credit card machine now.
  5. She might get a cell network credit card machine later.

Furthermore, once her business takes off, I will try to talk her into sharing bandwith with the neighbors and using another VOIP provider.

Can somebody explain to me why telecom operators, all over the world (I will kindly save you my personal horror stories) have refined the art of making all of their customers, ya know, the people who give you money, feeling scr**** in their a$$$$ hard to uncompromised heights? Small scale, this is a lost customer. Broader scale, this behaviour is not stimulating economy.

ps: screw back. Use skype and share bandwidth.