Telstra (News - Alert) executives made some perhaps-controversial statements in 2011 about VoIP, saying Telstra did not believe Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony could deliver sufficient reliability and quality to enable the telco to launch a VoIP service to consumers, despite launching a VoIP service to small businesses, including those with staff working from home.
It sometimes is worth keeping in mind, though, that when any person or organization says "something cannot be done," what they mean is that "I cannot do it" or "we cannot do it." That doesn't mean something really cannot be done.
At the time, Telstra restricted its services to small businesses, in part because Telstra said it needed to upgrade its central office switching capabilities to support packet prioritization. One might well have noted that the QoS was required because the access network was prone to congestion or noise.
The point is simply that when Telstra said it could not sell a quality VoIP service, it was true. But true only because of limitations in Telstra's network; not because there is, or was, something inherent in VoIP that limited quality.
Still, you might note the irony there: Telstra was so unconvinced VoIP would have sufficient quality without QoS mechanisms and packet prioritization that it refused to sell such services to consumers. In the United States, service providers are prohibited from applying QoS to services such as VoIP because of network neutrality rules that prohibit packet prioritization.
But Telstra now believes it is ready to offer VoIP to consumers on both fixed and mobile networks.
In May 2011 Telstra embarked on what has been described as a "massive" quality-of-service (QoS) upgrade to 1600 exchanges across the country to support its business-class VoIP services.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman