Skype, PCs and Telephony [7:43 pm]
THE telephone and the PC are ubiquitous desk mates, separated by a few inches and about a century.
How soon we can use our home phones to exploit the efficiencies of the Internet, where calling costs are too small to be worth metering, is a question of no small import for every telecommunications provider â€” and for every household with a phone.
The prospect of modernizing the telephone seems close because broadband services have solved the so-called last-mile problem, bringing relatively fast Internet connections from local switching centers and cable offices into customers’ homes. But connecting home phones to the Internet â€” spanning the last foot and a half â€” remains a problem, unless one subscribes to one of the new Internet phone services offered by cable companies here and there.