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VoIP and Unified Communications: Internet Telephony and the Future Voice Network by William A. Flanagan

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8

INTERCONNECTIONS TO GLOBAL SERVICES

Many organizations venture into VoIP first as an internal service, perhaps for a subgroup of users who test a new technology like a hosted PBX service. Starting a small technology trial, the costs may not be the most important item to evaluate. However, when planning a larger deployment the costs quoted need close examination, for several reasons:

  • Temporary pricing, good for one to three months, should have no influence on a decision about a long-term solution. That “saving” will disappear in a blink.
  • Taxes are now applied to VoIP service, where earlier they slid by invisibly. The conversion to IP cut tax revenues paid by legacy services enough to be noticeable, so the tax man came.
  • FCC authorized fees, starting with the Federal Universal Service Fee at $4.75 to $6 per line, can be half the monthly recurring charge (more than half for a cheap fax line).
  • Carrier fees are creative ways to charge for overhead costs, like recovering a state gross revenue tax, right-of-way expenses, and even defending the carrier's intellectual property rights from patent infringement ($1.99/ month per line).

As in some cellular data services, “unlimited” may have limits that when exceeded incur additional cost. Usage charges to off-net international subscribers vary by country. Note that when calling a mobile phone in some countries the calling party pays for the receiver's air time.

Even some “free” services may require that the customer specifically request ...

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