Geographraphicly Captive Markets, More than Just Long Distance
Telecommunications in the United States (and many other countries) has been strictly regulated by the government. Regulation stemmed from its initial existence as a “natural monopoly”, so called because of the vast expense of constructing and maintaining the millions of miles of wires required to facilitate the service. Although the innovation of sending digitized audio over the Internet had the ability to make every call “local” and eliminate long distance expenses, the deeper consequence was to destroy this long-held monopoly status. This demonopolization is achieving something government regulation never could to promote fairness to consumers: It creates the opportunity for competition. A consumer in Atlanta, Georgia, can now shop for voice communications services among every provider on Earth to find the best value.
With all the mobility and convenience of cellular phones, a lot has been said about giving up land lines altogether in favor of going all mobile. Many who have tried this have returned to the old tethered handset with a sigh of great relief.
It is obvious that cellular is not a good choice for most businesses. High costs from high usage, bad call quality, being “disconnected” from easy transfers to coworkers, lack of business features like voice prompt menus to route calls, and the seldom-discussed, but ever-present danger of a dead battery keep business owners from trusting contact with their most important assets, their customers, to cellular technology.
But what about residential users? As it turns out, many have tried and failed to give up the tethered handset. A cell phone simply can not match the comfort of a full-sized handset. Add overheating to that and the tendency of cell phones to be very good at following Murphy’s Law to drop the best part of every punch line and cell phones become more of an isolating factor than the tool we expect to bring us closer to friends and family. As if this were not enough, there is constant debate over the role of cellular phones in brain cancer.
VoIP phone services have become a favorite among those returning to their old telephone at home. Although QoStar does not concentrate on residential services, we have a considerable base of these land line refugees on our private stream-routing networks.
- “What We Do” from FCC.GOV
- “Federal Telecommunications Commission” from Wikipedia
- “Telecommunications Act of 1934” from Wikipedia
- “Natural Monopoly” from Wikipedia
- “[Analog] Landline Phones Go The Way Of The Telegram” from Forbes
- “Study: Wireless No Substitute for Wireline [and Consequently VoIP]” from DSL Reports (quoting this study from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies)