Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Shrinking POTS and Flattening VoIP

I caught part of this story this morning - that Bell Canada has seen it's cable based (VoIP but not) phone service grow dramatically as has Shaw in the west, especially with the Royal Bank converting it's phones at it's central office to being cable based rather than POTS. For business, it means that they are saving money, as it does for individuals like me (and for those of us in the west it means being free of Telus). But how can we get this working for education? Well it seems to me that VoIP is certainly a world flattener (yup I'm reading Friedman's The World is Flat) and that if not worldwide, this move may convince schools to do the same thing and allow students to literally talk to other students in other parts of the continent at no additional cost. It certainly seems to be a no brainer for distance education programs that are struggling with computers in the field (though for this the calls would be mostly outbound as the instructor calls the student to take advantage of the savings, assuming that the institution has an infrastructure that can support VoIP in the first place) know this has been gabbed about for a long time and email and other computer based technologies were supposed to help. But the phone is such a basic tool, and we don't have to fight to get it into the classroom... it's there, on the wall... sitting... gathering dust... in Canada (sorry the election seems to have got to me... darn attack ads... cudos to the NDP and Greens for being bigger parties). Maybe it's time to take a step into the past and simplify things a little for our kids and start long distance connections in a small step. Hey if nothing else I'm sure even the most technophobic teacher won't object to the phone. All they need to do is plan for it and find someone to be on the other end of the line. Technorati Tags: , ,