United Online Joins VoIP Arena

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[ Technology]

The company plans to offer free computer to computer calling, and five tiers of computer to telephone call pricing topping out at $14.95 per month plus international call rates.

Some countries have begun shutting out VoIP traffic from their telecom networks, aided by software that identifies data traffic carrying those phone calls. In the US, SBC Communications’ CEO has threatened to start charging service providers like Vonage for carrying their VoIP traffic, on top of fees charged to consumers for using SBC for Internet connectivity.

United Online doesn’t seem very concerned about the various rumblings that menace net neutrality. Today the company behind NetZero and Classmates.com announced it will offer VoIP calling that will work with nearly any connection, broadband or dialup.

The NetZero Voice plans range in price from free for PC to PC calls through an unlimited plan that covers the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and offers free inbound calls. International calling, a huge moneymaker for telecoms, starts at 2 cents per minute depending on the country called.

As a new service, United Online can address the FCC requirement for 100 percent notification and response from customers about limitations on emergency 911 dialing from VoIP connections as subscribers join.

Existing VoIP providers have had varying success in meeting FCC deadlines to comply with that requirement. The FCC has extended those deadlines for some companies in response.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

United Online Joins VoIP Arena
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