I've signed up for Vonage, www.vonage.com, voice over IP or digital telephone service that routes my landline telephone calls through my high-speed Internet connection. It cost only $25 a month for monthly service, including local and long-distance, unlimited phone calls anywhere in the U.S. ($15 for 500 minutes). This is less than half what BellSouth or Verizon would have cost me for a landline per month, not to mention the “bargain” of unlimited long-distance calls for an AT LEAST $20 a month from a provider like Sprint. Over the course of a year, if Vonage service proves to be crisp and reliable, it’ll save me AT LEAST $600, maybe as much as $1,000 a year. When I signed up, Vonage sent me a router that plugs into my high-speed Internet connection. Very simple to install. So far, the phone signal is strong, the calls are far crisper than cell phone calls and equal to Verizon or BellSouth landline service. If you'd like to try this service, send me your email address, I'll forward it on to Vonage in my "refer a friend" link, and we'll both get credits. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since I'm new to Vonage, I can't attest to whether it's as reliable as traditional phone companies (some of which I have found not to be so reliable either). But there's a user forum at http://www.vonage-forum.com.
Vonage is rolling out its services to business customers as well:
By year's end, Vonage will have more than one million subscribers, the company projects.