When Long Distance Isn’t

My friend Stephen Southall called me today from Ontario. He called me by ringing my office number in Charlottetown, which is patched through, on the voice-over-IP (i.e. “the Internet”), to my apartment here in Italy. We talked for 22 minutes. Beyond the cost of a normal call from Ontario to PEI, the jump over to Italy cost me 37 cents. Not 37 cents per minute, 37 cents total.

Remarkably, given all the hocus-pocus involved, the voice quality was great. Not quite “in the next room,” and a little shy of “a local call,” but very little interference or delay.

By comparison, the standard Aliant rate for a call to more than 37 kilometers away is 36 cents a minute. In other words, calling Summerside from Charlottetown with Aliant costs 22 times more as calling Italy from Charlottetown using VOIP.