Google Fiber Cancels Plans for VoIP Landline Service

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Google Fiber Cancels Plans for VoIP Landline Service Google Fiber Cancels Plans for VoIP Landline ServiceGoogle Fiber Cancels Plans for VoIP Landline Service


11 December 2012

Lately, Google has been busy forging the way in the fiber network world with their experimental Google Fiber project. With Google Fiber, customers can get Internet, or Internet and TV fiber network service. After recently creating their first fiber optics stomping grounds in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, Google strives to be the first provider to offer nationwide bandwidth.

While Google jumped on the bandwidth bandwagon, we were surprised when they forwent the opportunity to bundle in VoIP features with their other fiber services. Originally, Google had planned to include phone service in their fiber network, but as of last week, those plans have officially been suspended.

Google is a household name, and according to Seeking Alpha, it is the largest Internet provider with a market cap of $250 billion. What with Google’s popularity and overflowing wallet, it seems somewhat surprising that it didn’t throw VoIP options in with its other features. However, Google Vice President of Access Services Milo Medin recently said that Google considered providing VoIP, but nixed it due to the “special rules that apply” when a company wants to provide phone service.

Indeed, there is quite a bit of red tape surrounding telecommunication services. In the last twenty years, the telecom market has seen major legal changes meant to prevent any one provider from monopolizing the market.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996, for example, enforces fair competition among providers with distinct requirements for carriers of telephone, cable tv, and data networks. Although this act encourages healthy competition among providers, it also creates additional hoops for service providers to leap through.

Additionally, working with the billing systems to allow for phone services created other limitations for Google. Every state has different taxes on telecom service, which can rack up the price tag on phone service, especially for some of the bigger companies.

Perhaps for Google there just wasn’t a strong enough initiative to tackle these obstacles for the sake of VoIP.

Before getting too bummed out about Google Fiber’s lack of VoIP service however, you should realize that there are lots of other VoIP services that are compatible with Google Fiber’s broadband. Really, any VoIP provider you can think of (like ITP for residential service, or Jive for business) should be compatible with Google Fiber. So, if you are one of the people who just can’t wait to be cutting edge with Google Fiber, you don’t have to feel like you can’t get VoIP service.

VoIP providers charge users a flat fee each month, which would make calculating monthly bills with an Internet provider like Google Fiber both simple and predictable., for example, charges just $17.95/month per user, while 8x8 services are $21.95/month per user. Just add these consistent monthly fees to the $70/month cost of Google Fiber Internet to determine service costs each month.

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