Jamie's Blog

Ruby developer. CTO. Swimmer. Always trying to write more

VoIP is not ready for prime time Clay Shirky note…

VoIP is not ready for prime time
Clay Shirky notes (on Boing Boing’s mini guest blog with no permalinks ) that VoIP is nearing prime time. Well, that may be so in limited environments - under utilised 100Mbps office Ethernet or possibly those fancy ADSL connections everyone (outside Ireland) seems to be able to afford. But in general I don’t believe it. And I laugh at those that imply mobile telephony will be replaced by 802.11b multi-hop links within an ad-hoc network. Not even in 10years will this be acceptable (though 10-15 is a better guess).

Earlier this year, I attended the AAMAS conference where one of the keynote speakers did not appear in person. In fact, they gave their presentation over VoIP (or something equally as bad). I listened for a few minutes before leaving in disgust because a) I couldn’t determine whether the speaker was human, alien or computer b) assuming a keynote speaker would have to be human, I couldn’t determine whether it was male or female and c) I couldn’t decipher a single word the speaker said. [admittedly, the room might have had great musical accoustics but was very poor for clear speech]

So, no, I don’t think VoIP is ready for prime time.