Apr 132011
 

Date: 9 November 2005
Subject: Are ‘free’ telephone calls using ‘VoIP’ technology a reality for the home user? Find out all about the ‘digital phone’.
Speaker: Stuart Philip (IT curriculum leader at Highlands College)
Venue: Highlands College, Concert Hall

Event Description

The Internet brought you email, online shopping, music downloads, online gaming and ‘streaming’ video. And now it delivers the telephone – straight to your desktop.

This is the Internet Age where the price of high speed Internet access is tumbling, you can fly to a foreign destination for a pound – and phone calls could cost you nothing at all.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – or Internet Telephony – has turned traditional telephony on its head. And it is easier than you think. All you need is a reliable Internet connection, a basic knowledge of using the World Wide Web – and someone you wish to talk to.

So… what’s stopping you?

If you are not otherwise engaged – then come to this public event sponsored by BCS Jersey and all will be revealed.

Session Structure

– Introduction to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

– Introduction to the hardware and software required

– Introduction to the services available

– Live demonstration of Internet telephony using ‘Skype’

Registration

This event is free, and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about using Internet telephony. Registration is not required but, if you think you will be attending, please email the event organiser (jersey.events@bcs.org) so that we are aware of numbers. If you have any questions about this event, you can also email the event organiser (jersey.events@bcs.org) for further information.

Acknowledgements

Highlands College has kindly provided facilities for this BCS Jersey event.

User review

Review of Internet Telephony (Voice over IP) public event – Wednesday 9 November (Paul Herbert)

I should first declare that I am not an entirely impartial commentator, as I took a small part in the live demonstration towards the end of this event.

That said, Stuart Philip did a good job in helping to de-mystify the ‘VoIP’ – or Voice over IP technology – that will allow the home user to use Internet connections to call other people without incurring additional costs. Stuart started with a caveat that the products shown were chosen because he had experience with them – BCS Jersey did not endorse the products being demonstrated.

We then learnt that people with friends or relatives in far flung parts of the world could talk to them using software that is simple to download and use. For a small fee some service providers even allow you to choose a telephone number in the UK or other countries so that people in that country can call you for the cost of a local call.

With a daughter at university in the UK – and a mounting phone bill – I can see the attraction of this and will be definitely be considering using Voice over IP technology in the New Year!

The event finished with a live demonstration of one Internet telephone provider’s product (Skype) could be used to call mobile phones and – even more impressive – make conference calls between three people (who could be anywhere in the world with an Internet connection). This last demonstration was made difficult by the proximity of the PCs being used and the acoustics of the Concert Hall, but the audience certainly got a flavour of the potential of this technology for the home user.

Stuart handled the technical challenges with panache and humour using his own personal experience as a reference, and engaged with the audience who stayed to ask a number of questions about the practicalities of using this technology.

This public event was put on by BCS Jersey as part of its commitment to raise the profile and awareness of Information Technology in Jersey.