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Got Skype? Call any land line within US and Canada for free

Skype, famous for launching the first popular Internet VoIP communications software, previously had a subscription or pay mode called SkypeOut. The feature enabled Skype users within the US and Canada to make calls to landlines for small fees. After paying or adding pre-paid credit, users would then be able to use Skype on their computers to make calls to anywhere within the US -- to other Skype users (for free) and to regular land lines.

Today, Skype announces a major milestone in VoIP communication: free calls to any land line in the US and Canada, free of charge. No strings attached, at all. Simply use your existing Skype software and SkypeOut login, and begin making those calls. Call lengths are unlimited and can be made at any time during the day or night. From the press release:

Yes. It is really very, very free. There’s no prepayment, no minimum use, no subscription, no monthly fee, no nothing. You just download and install Skype and then you start calling. Both the caller and the number called must be in either the US or Canada. There are no strings attached.

The only condition is that we have said free SkypeOut within the US and Canada is guaranteed to last until the end of this year — that is, until December 31, 2006. We’re not quite sure yet what we will do after that. Maybe we extend the free period, maybe not. You’ll hear more about this towards the end of the year.

This marks a major milestone not only for Skype, but for making calls within the US and Canada in all of history. Never has a company offered free calling to land lines in the US and Canada, and while the hurrah of VoIP promised to remove customers from the grasps of large telcos, Skype has truly made VoIP what it was intended to be. Although Skype is still unsure of what it will do with this free SkypeOut feature once 2007 hits, everyone is hoping that Skype will continue its breakthrough for the long haul. 

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Land Lines are Dead
By Hydrofirex on 5/15/2006 6:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Cell phones everyone, that is the element I think a lot of the discussion about longevity is missing. I havn't had a traditional land line in years - I never will again. Think about it: Data is Data is Data is Data (And yes, the phone companies recognize data for what it is, just see the so called "Net Nuetrality" debate that is going on right now!). You get some redundancy in having a "phone" line, but that channel is NOT garunteed in a emergency. If you thinking apocolyptic disaster security I think you should move towards a radio and a a car battery.

We need two internet connections: one super-broadband home line that can accomidate MANY data streams. So that your VOIP doesn't mess with your grandma's City of Villians game, your kids research for school, and your... etrading or ebaying or what-have-you. The other connection is a generous mobile connection capable of supporting video phone functions and using all the streaming content that can be crammed into the air. Cellular packet technology is a form of networking. Cell phones are even supposed to be using VOIP so that when you're on a home LAN your minutes arent used and the phone goes VOIP. I saw this months ago, and surprisingly havn't heard a word since.


RE: Land Lines are Dead
By breethon on 5/15/2006 7:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
yep, you got it, for the most part. I haven't had a land line in over 2 years (this month to be exact). For those out in B.F.E., however, land lines are a necessary evil. Until cell phone coverage (or high speed internet for VOIP) is available everywhere, some must suffer from the ill effects of the dark side.

RE: Land Lines are Dead
By vingamm on 5/16/2006 4:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
Hydro you are dead on. I JUST ordered VoIP through my cable service. Mostly because the bundled service was cheaper than getting cable and Internet seperately. I personally have not had a landline in 3 years. I did not see the reason to have two phones when most of my friends and family call my Cell even when they know I am at home. I read that article a while back (I think it was on The Register) and have not heard word one since. I am at work now I will try this when I get home hopefully the hype (or the skype) will have died a little by then. Also Net2Phone, Dialpad, Hottelephone, and I think even Yahoo at one time offer calls to land lines. And while we are talking about this technology, I still use netmeeting to talk to my family. we all have WiFi and Laptops with cameras in them I just punch in the IP and instant video call! and it is free. Before someone knocks me for netmeeting not being routable, do some research. you just have to get the right router or software.

RE: Land Lines are Dead
By Hydrofirex on 5/16/2006 5:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to be the one who knocks you, but I still can't even get an IM client to establish a 2 way web cam stream. Yes, it's the router - Damn NAT! Which, if anything, it's a good point that these technologies are still not nessicarily ready for the mainstream.


"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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