It’s time to fire your mother.
Well, not your real mother, but that other mother who’s ruled you with a copper fist for most of your life: Ma Bell.
Don’t get me wrong; you can appreciate everything the Bell phone companies have done for you over the years. Life would be bleak and you wouldn’t be able to work or keep up with family and friends without your telephone service.
Some of you may be old enough to remember 085 nummer aanvragen rotary dial phones and having to get an operator to make a long distance call. Maybe you’re not old enough to have been on a party line, but you may remember your parents or grandparents talking about having to share a line with their neighbors.
My, how times have changed. And now you can kick Ma out of your home and office for good. Not to switch exclusively to using a cell phone as many have (a new email is making the rounds that tells of another scientific study showing prolonged cell phone use can cause brain tumors), but because you can have VoIP!
You may not be the kind of person who embraces a new technology right away, so it doesn’t have to be a sudden breakup with Ma Bell. You can keep her on for while if you’re afraid to cut the fiber optic umbilical cord and unconditionally accept this new broadband telephone technology until you know how it works.
That’s what I did. For a while I had two telephones on my desk: the Bell phone for incoming calls and my VoIP phone for outgoing calls – especially for long distance, since it now costs nothing.
Once you have Voice over IP you won’t be able to imagine paying anything to make long distance calls in the U.S. and Canada, or paying $80 or more a month to get a few hundred minutes of long distance on a cell phone.