Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Friday, 27 May 2005

Cable & Wireless is making a BIG DEAL out of VoIP. They call it their NetSpeak program. It requires a broadband ADSL connection, and then for $39.99 a month (CI Dollars of course) you get an ATA (they call it an MTA) and unlimited calling to the US and Canada. They took out a full-page ad in the paper advertising 0.00017 cents per minute, but the fine print says “if you were to make a call that lasted 28 days, the 39.99 divided by that many hours is 0.00017 per minute” or something like that. You can also add in western europe for another $15.00 a month unlimited as well.

Great idea, too late. The early adopters who would sign up for a package like this have already got themselves a Vonage or packet8 phone, and their monthly billing for that is only $19.99 US Dollars per month.

Pros of the Netspeak program:

  • You can dial local numbers by their 7 digit number.
  • You can call 911 emergency services with it.
  • The C&W FAQ even promotes taking the ATA with you to make calls from wherever you are via high-speed internet connection (like a hotel room).
  • Don't need a US address and credit card. (you can get around that by using a service like US Link that gives you a US address for mail, magazine subs, ground shipping etc)

Cons of the Netspeak program:

  • Early adopters already have VoIP ATA adapters based out of the US, therefore INCOMING calls to their VoIP number result in the caller getting charged US long distance rates (or none at all, depending on their calling plan) as opposed to dialing the NetSpeak number and still paying the exorbitant fees as if they were calling a mobile or land line in the Cayman Islands.
  • KYD$39.99=$USD49.99 compared to USD$19.99 for packet8 service.

They're rather excited about this program and see it as a way to combat the competition from deregulation of the telecom industry. The latest new company, TeleCayman is offering high-speed internet (using Point-to-Point microwave distribution) with higher bandwidth (2048kbps down and 1024kbps up) for KYD$189/month compared to C&W's 1540kbps/256kbps for $199/month. They don't offer service to West Bay (yet) but should have it up and running by the end of June.

If I had 1024kbps up, I would be able to finally figure out if I'm getting my ass kicked constantly in HALO2 xbox live because of latency, or because I suck at the game :)

Friday, 27 May 2005 06:52:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Links | Rants | Tech | Gadgets#
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