December 3, 2004, was a momentous occasion for me, as it was the first ribbon cutting ceremony I have ever attended. Tel(x) opened their new facility, tel(x) Atlanta, which was previously a carrier hotel at 56 Marietta St. in Atlanta, GA. Atlanta is a major interconnection point from Florida to NY to South America and 56 Marietta sits on top of most of this fiber. This facility nicely compliments tel(x) New York. The company’s CEO, Rory Cutaia, cut the ribbon with the assistance of his team. This took place just after his charismatic speech which was followed by speakers from the local area.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the crowd went to the Omni hotel, where we had a day of networking and educational sessions. Many universities and some corporate delegates were in the audience.
TMC’s Rich Tehrani (left) discusses developments in IP communications technology.
I learned that this Atlanta property is important as it relates to the educational networks, Internet 2 and much more. VoIP is an important part of the company’s future. In fact, Hunter Newby, the Chief Strategy Officer of the company, mentioned as part of his presentation that a new voice Internet is being built. As with other technologies such as Internet adoption, we are seeing this trend starting in universities and subsequently growing outward to enterprises.
This voice Internet is in fact a private layer 2 VoIP interconnection network. VoIP interconnection networks are being connected much the same way the Internet came into being.
People at the conference asked me what tel(x) will do for their local market and I explained that peering has the potential to fundamentally change the way VoIP works. Peering of networks coupled with free ENUM services from companies like Stealth Communications allow tremendous savings on calls from parties that are peered.
Universities, enterprises and small and eventually larger service providers will all need to peer to save money and, by the way, potentially increase call quality. Ironically, today a Vonage-to-CallVantage call still travels over the PSTN. If these carriers peered, there would be no PSTN connection, meaning fewer delays, better quality, lower cost and an escape from myriad government regulations, taxes and fees (at least for now).
The momentum is building in the peering space, and I get frequent calls from all types of service providers asking me about the world’s first VoIP Peering Summit taking place in Miami, Florida, at TMC’s Internet Telephony Conference & Expo, February 22-25, 2005. Peering will dramatically affect service providers, large enterprises, call centers, the government and universities. If you fit in any of these categories you need to be at this event.
One sure sign of success of this summit is the strong sponsorship support we have received from three of the leaders in the peering space, tel(x), Terremark and Sansay. The latter, Sansay, is a relatively new session border controller company founded by the highly successful management team from Nuera, one of the original VoIP gateway providers going back to the late 1990s.
Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments.
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