I missed my chance to be on the CBC show BC Almanac today. I was busy working and didn't check my Gmail account until later in the day (Darren mentioned that I should put my cellphone number on my website...and he was right). A producer from the BC Almanac show called, wanting to get my take on residential VoIP, what with Shaw's announcement of their ridiculously over-priced service ($55CDN!).
I would have talked about something similar to the following:
There are quite a few residential VoIP solutions in Canada now. Shaw's is among the most expensive, and there is really no point to picking them over "traditional" phones. Primus is slashing their prices, but they are using old technology and suffer from quality issues. Vonage is high-quality and is what I would recommend for the "average" user.
There are a number of lower-priced, national competitors starting up such as Netfone.ca, Yak, ca.inter.net. In reality, anyone can become a "VoIP provider" -- there are a number of wholesale and turn-key solutions. The other big thing is "softphones" -- meaning wherever I have my laptop and an Internet connection, I can make and receive calls. This includes proprietary solutions like Skype as well as VoIP providers that offer a softphone connected to a "real" phone number.
The real story here is that the cost of voice communications is trending towards zero. Features are the only thing that customers are willing to pay for (that is, with a race towards zero or flat-rate cost for unlimited long distance anywhere).
Sigh. Next time, I guess. Maybe I can talk about how CBC is using Wikipedia.org as source material.