Random Musing VoIP

Perspective change

Believe it or not, I once argued on a mailing list (back in 96/97) that “Why do I want to run my voice over IP over modem over voice line?” and “if VoIP is good enough to the entreprise, why haven’t CIOs drop their phone network”.

Now, it is not as if I don’t have experience with VoIP before then. As early as 93/94, I was already on multicast radio channel and sometimes talking to random people I find online (with werid looks from others lab). My boss then had a crazy idea to broadcast the 1994 National Day Parade over the Internet – and we set it up in 2 weeks time – using multicast network and also a network of CUSeeMe relays.

Now, those are the days when the national bandwidth is 64kbps which runs on satellite (500ms!) so we have to ask our members not to do any ftp download during the run. With the TV reporters around, I hide myself while they interview my boss with a jerky 5-10fps video/audio stream on National TV. Gosh, I don’t know how he survived that but that haunted me.

But sometime around 98/99, my perspective changed. I remember a rich friend asked me for some business idea and I told the concept of IP-PABX (actually, there wasn’t such term then yet). I got a ‘you are crazy’ look from him and never hear from him again.

Anyway, the point of the story is that for those who are saying “I never going to use VoIP”, never say never. Afterall, don’t you know someone who said “I never going to buy a mobile phone” but end up having one now anyway?

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