Jamie's Blog

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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.