Speak freely

“Voice should one day be absolutely free,” writes J. William Gurley in an April 2 posting to Dave Farber’s Interesting People list, positing that broadband competition and unobtrusive government regulations should pull the rug out from under voice service providers in the U.S. Gurley points to Skype, a peer-to-peer, voice-over-IP service as an example of what’s to come. But he adds that broadband competition south of the border might never be strong enough to support this free-voice vision. Read more at www.interesting-people.org/archives.

Price hike approved

Businesses in Saskatchewan might have to pay higher rates for data and voice services now that the CRTC has approved SaskTel’s application to raise prices. Business network access service, business multi-line access service, and certain Centrex services all go up as a result of the approval. In its analysis the Commission said the rate hikes do not go above the 10-per cent threshold set for regulated service increases. In January SaskTel said it would apply to the CRTC for higher local phone service rates. Visit www.crtc.gc.ca and see Telecom Order 2004-106.

Allstream plays host

Toronto-based service provider Allstream Corp. in March unveiled its Hosted Contact Centre, a suite of products designed to make call centre creation a simple task. The platform brings together automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR) and computer-telephony integration (CTI) capabilities, the company said in a statement. Allstream hosts the platform in its data centre. Allstream said the Hosted Contact Centre could be delivered over traditional network infrastructure or IP infrastructure. Clients can marry this new offering with Allstream’s toll-free service and its Business IP service. For more info visit www.allstream.com.