US VoIP growth survey points to qualified business take up


An analysis of the continuing growth in consumer and business VoIP in the US has triggered suggestions that some businesses may be concerned about the costs of VoIP hardware installation; whilst others may be opting for SIP trunking as the route to participation in business VoIP activity.

The analysis, carried out by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), provides a breakdown of available figures on VoIP take up in the US between June 2009 and the same month in 2010.

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) involves making voice calls over the internet rather than via conventional telephone line connections – one of the main advantages being the significant savings available on the unit cost of each call.

The FCC survey shows that in the 2009-2010 period under scrutiny, there was a 21% growth in combined consumer and business VoIP use, whilst at the same time use of traditional telephone line connections fell by 8%.

The survey reveals that in the US in June 2010 there were 122 million conventional connections to public phone lines and 29 million VoIP connections. Of the VoIP connections, just over 10% were from the commercial sector, with the remainder all being taken up by residential subscribers.

The seemingly low penetration of VoIP has been attributed by commentators to two very probable factors.

The first of these is that many VoIP solutions are currently likely to be accessed via SIP trunking; SIP (session initiation protocol) trunking involves a re-routing of calls through the internet as opposed to the adoption of a dedicated VoIP connection.

The second explanation is that many businesses may be deterred by the expense of setting up an in-house VoIP system, an expense which many businesses may not realise they can avoid by accessing VoIP via a remote hosted VoIP provider.