[CSG-Winter-2005] Ben Teitelbaum (Internet2) – VoIP Service Opportunities


Ben Teitelbaum is talking about “From Ma Bell to Your Bell: voice, VoIP, and the Potential Role of Internet2”

The slides are available on the CSG web site.

Ben notes that Voice is the dominant real-time communications medium among homo sapiens – that’s a good and worthy observation!

VoIP is not just a cost-saving hack – open standards and the Internet are revolutionizing telecom, forcing new industry structures, architectures, services and applications.

The trends are toward greater empowerment not just of campuses and institutions, but of end users.

There are many ways we can do better than conventional telephony – in fidelity, privacy, presence (who’s available now), mobility, integration with IM and video, etc.

Today, campuses using VoIP are talking to each other across the traditional PSTN telephone network. Some campuses are starting to use Internet Telephone Service Providers (ITSPs) for some of this traffic, but that’s basically the same thing – aggregating traffic before it goes to the PSTN. There is a fair amount of p2p VoIP traffic with people who’ve downloaded various software packages like Skype and are using them over Internet2 between campuses.

One possible future might be end-to-end IP transport over Internet2, avoiding the PSTN altogether.

There is an Internet2 committee called VSAC (don’t know what it stands for) that is considering whether it makes sense for I2 to provide voice services to its membership – that committee will be issuing a report shortly.

Options they have been considering have included:

– A VoIP routing registry, with gateways at each campus and a centrally managed private directory of phone numbers at each campus, routing intra-I2 calls across the Abilene backbone.

– An exchange point for ITSPs. That might encourage the proliferation and success of smaller ITSP players.

– I2-Mobile (Cellular-WiFi) – work with Verisign, which provides a cellular roaming clearing house used by most of the little cellular providers, They can make the campus WiFi network look like cellular roaming. This could enable people on campus to receive inbound calls through the campus network on their cell phones.

– Voice Disaster Recovery – where surviving members provide PSTN connectivity to school with TDM voice failure.

It will be interesting to see which of these scenarios get recommended in the final report and how this progresses.

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