What vexes VoIP users?

Jay Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Tue Mar 1 22:11:11 CST 2011

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nathan Eisenberg" <nathan at atlasnetworks.us>

> > "What everyone is actually *selling* commercially, except for cable
> > providers, is *not* VoIP; it's a subset of that: VoN; Voice Over
> > Internet; where the IP transport *goes over the public internet*, and through
> > whatever exchange points may be necessary to get from you to the
> > provider.
> This is utterly irrelevant to the topic at hand (What vexes VoIP
> users/providers). Further, it's ridiculous to say that something is a
> subset of something else, and yet not that something else. A1 cannot
> be a subtype of A without being A. A1 cannot be a subset of steak
> sauce without being steak sauce. Yes, it's a specific type of steak
> sauce, and is basically made of corn sugar, which may negate some of
> the issues with tomato-paste based steak sauces, but it is STILL a
> steak sauce, and is still relevant when talking about how many people
> put sauce on their steak as opposed to utilizing old fashioned steak
> rub.

I believe you have a polarity reversal in your reading of my post.

VoN is a subset of VoIP; it is what providers who *advertise* VoIP are
generally actually selling; it is much more prone to problems on the
local IP loop and the backbone than the subset of VoIP which the cable
company who's selling you the broadband is offering.

> > Cable companies are selling you *one hop* (maybe 2 or 3; certainly
> > not
> > 12-18), over a link with bandwidth protected from whatever may be
> > going on on the Internet IP link they're also selling you; and which
> > is
> > therefore guaranteed to have better quality than whatever "VoIP"
> > service
> > it might be competing with."
> >
> > Better?
> Not really, because you're still arguing a point that doesn't matter.
> Is it Voice? Is it IP? Then it's VoIP. A lot of the issues are still
> relevant, and certainly the number of users can be said to count. The
> number of hops doesn't matter one iota. Is it not email if you're only
> 1 hop away from your SMTP server?

Aw, c'mon with the strawmen, Nathan.  SMTP isn't latency, jitter, and
dropped-packet sensitive and SIP/RTP is, and that's pretty obvious.

Yes, the number of hops and exchange points matters to VoIP in ways
that it doesn't matter to SMTP and POP.

I will attempt, one more time, to clarify my original underlying point.
Then, if you absolutely insist, I shall give up:

Lots of people sell PSTN gateway access via the TCP/IP public Internet.

Nearly all of them call this VoIP.  It is, but that term is insufficiently
specific to allow the comparison of this service with "VoIP" service
offered as a "triple-play" by broadband/cable companies, because their
service is "protected" in one fashion or another from many impairments
which the service sold by those third-parties is prone to, by the 
nature of the differences in their transport.

Additionally, characterizing that third-party service solely as "VoIP" 
tends to give that term a bad reputation in other contexts, such as 
protected internal VoIP PBX service, in which it's perfectly suitable,
even though Vonage is generally no better than mediocre.

Did that more clearly explain why I'm unhappy with the fast and loose
usage of the term VoIP in many contexts?

-- jra

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