I am getting sick and tired of this whole debate about how good VoIP should be? Just because we accept poor quality from cellphones, and PCs, we are supposed to expect poor quality or what some call, good enough quality in VoIP as well. Not so – first, there is the whole notion of cellphones. From day one, the consumer experience was terrible and any improvement in the networks comes as a pleasant surprise for us. So good enough here is actually better than what it was even a year ago. Similarly Windows XP is so much better than Windows 3.0. So we put up with mediocrity. Phone service on the other hand is working well, and our expectations are very high from it. Larry Borsato points out
To put this into perspective, 99.999% reliability means that phone service may potentially be unavailable for 5.3 minutes over the course of a year. By comparison, 98% reliability sounds reasonable, but actually the service could be unavailable for more than 7 days. Could you live without phone service for hours or days at a time? Probably not. The internet as it currently exists does not provide carrier-grade reliability, and by extension neither does VoIP. This really limits its use to early adopters. I can’t see the average person as willing to take this risk.
So if VoIP has to catch our imagination and remove PSTN from our thinking, well do a damn fine job, or else take a hike!