October 11, 2004

Vonage Wants Street Cred

In an attempt to drive deeper into the consumer market, Vonage is holding a press conference tomorrow with Intrado and the State of Rhode Island to talk about E911 service.

Now, I'm not sure how much clout Intrado and Rhode Island sport in the world of telecom, but you can't blame Vonage for trying to get over the 911 hurdle. For whatever reason, consumers get hung up (no pun intended) on VOIP about two issues: 911 and back-up power.

Vonage and other service providers are trying to tackle the concerns about 911 by unveiling new technology, so that should fade into the background soon. As for back-up power, I'm sure it will be dealt with as well in the near future.

In some respects, consumer reluctance about VOIP reminds me about how many consumers were cautious, if not opposed, about using their credit cards to make e-commerce purchases a few years ago. Today, no one thinks twice about it. Give Vonage credit for making some noise about 911 service - it's a smarter message than yet another price reduction.

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