Verizon to Vonage: All You Phone Calls Are Belong To Us

In a move designed to infuriate the technical community (yours truly included), the judge in the patent case between Verizon and Vonage has issued an order that Vonage is prohibited from completing calls from its service to a regular phone line. The implication is that Verizon is claiming that it should have exclusive use of any method of connecting a phone call from a PC to a land line. What does this mean? Goodbye Vonage, Broadwing, Packet8, Skype, AT&T Callvantage, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, etc. The entire phone industry is at stake.

Verizon has done something very VERY stupid. They've gone and ticked off tens of millions of consumers AND dozens of competing companies by trying to enforce a patent that should have never been granted in the first place. (Hey guys? Prior art? Duh?) I'm really ticked because I'm a Vonage customer.

Vonage hasn't been a perfect company to work with, but I'm getting phone service with more minutes than I can use for under $20 a month. I don't have service disruptions and the calls are always clear. If I have to change to a regular land line, our phone service will likely be jacked up to nearly double what we pay right now.

I'm hoping Verizon gets its posterior handed back to it on a silver platter. In the meantime, I'm looking at moving our phone service somewhere else. 

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10 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    I read this article this morning and was perplexed at the notion that the government sided with creating a monopoly.

    Maybe this was the same judge that ruled in the Anna Nicole trial.

  2. wan2pla says:

    Hmmmm I have Verizon but I love that I can use Skype (free for this next year) to make all my daytime calls so I don’t rack up the minutes on Verizon. Luckily, my contract with them is up next month I may need to change providers. The only drawback is every other cell phone coverage doesn’t work in the bermuda triangle I live in

  3. “If I have to change to a regular land line, our phone service will likely be jacked up to nearly double what we pay right now.”

    With Qwest, you’re talking at *least* double. Plus billing errors. And hour-long Customer Service waits. Woo!

    “I’m hoping Verizon gets its posterior handed back to it on a silver platter.”

    Forever, and ever. Amen.

    (crosses fingers)

  4. Jesse says:

    Before we even moved here, I knew that Qwest was bad news. All I ever heard about them is “billing error” this and “bad service” that.

  5. Jeremy says:

    I’m a Vonage customer too and agree with your analysis. Local bell companies have been given way too much power and this decision shuts off the only possible avenue where competition could possibly have taken place in the local phone market. Major suckage.

  6. jeremy says:

    yes billing errors are VERY common. We have qwest phone services because Bobbie needs it for work, local calls and yet we have been charged 2 of the 4 months for long distance, call waiting and other stuff even though we have the most basic service. Oh and the kicker they sell your number so fast to solicitors, on the first day within hours we had solicitors calling.

  7. Shannon says:

    I knew nothing of this, and I’m a vonage customer. How could I not know, is it because I’m Canadian?? When are they supposed to stop their service???

  8. Jesse says:

    In theory, they’re supposed to be shut down in less than 10 days. In practice, they’re likely going to get a stay of at least 90 days to try and come up with a workaround. I’m watching it pretty closely to make sure we’ll have uninterrupted phone service.

  9. Mike says:

    Reminds me of this

    I love the Colbert!

  10. Glen says:

    I really do think that major companies love to cut off their noses to spite their face. This is just another shinning example.

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