VoIP converts the voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal that travels over the Internet.
If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is then converted back at the other end.
Internet Voice can allow you to make a call directly from a computer.
If you make a call using a phone with an adaptor, you’ll be able to dial just as you always have, and the service provider may also provide a dial tone.
If your service assigns you a regular phone number, then a person can call you from his or her regular phone without using special equipment.
How VoIP Works
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?
A broadband Internet connection is required to make VoIP calls.
Some services allow you to use a regular telephone, as long as you connect it to an adaptor.
Some companies allow you to make calls from a computer or a VoIP phone that doesn’t require
an additional adapter.
If you are calling a regular telephone number, the person you are calling does not need any special equipment, just a phone.
If I have VoIP Service, Whom Can I Call?
Depending upon your service, you might be limited only to other subscribers to the service, for you may be able to call any phone number, anywhere in the world.
The call can be made to a local number, a mobile phone, a long distance, or an international number.
No High-Speed Internet Connection, No Internet Phone Service – You must have a high speed Internet connection (DSL, Cable modem, T-1, etc.).
911 Issues – Unlike most traditional telephone networks, a call to 911 through most VoIP service providers will not be able to automatically provide the emergency response center with your name and the location from which you are calling.
Lose Your Power, Lose Your Service – Unless you have some type of backup power for your high-speed
modem, you will lose all Internet phone services if you lose power.
Keeping Your Current Phone Number – VoIP customers may not be able to keep their current numbers when switching from standard phone service to VoIP.
Directory Service – If you switch from traditional telephone service to VoIP, your new number will likely not be in the telephone directory or available from directory assistance. Also, you may no longer be able to receive free phone directories from the local service provider.
Calling 900 Numbers – VoIP customers are generally not able to dial 900 or 10-10 numbers, or receive collect calls.
VoIP service providers operate in a competitive environment under minimal regulation, much like providers of cellular/wireless phone service. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) retains primary jurisdiction over the regulated aspects of VoIP services.