Last week on this weblog, Ray mentioned how his Vonage Colorado home phone and mobile could be reached from Washington, DC using a local 202 area code that acts as a 'toll bridge' to circumvent paying distance charges and this threatens the principal redistributive purpose of telephone rates.
Indeed what Vonage and other VoIP companies are doing on a nationwide basis, Primus' Lingo VoIP service is doing worldwide. Look at their $19.99 a month plan that includes unlimited calling in the
Lingo doesn't stop with Europe; it also has a $34.95 a month plan that will add on eight Asian countries as well as
Routing over the IP network is a neat little technique that illustrates quite clearly how VoIP technology is well ahead of current national based regulation regimes. This diagram below shows how a call made over a broadband line is transported via the internet (1) in IP format to a gateway in the terminating country, where it is then converted (2) to analog format and completed as a local PSTN call (3) with no international settlements paid. Cool huh?