26 March 2007
Internet telephony — also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP — isn't your average online service.
This increasingly popular form of phone service is a "two-way," meaning the upstream and downstream paths are equally important. With VoIP, transmission quality, not just the raw speed of your Internet connection, is directly related to call quality, says Patrick White, director of the wireless network security center at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.
Why? White says it's because of the natural, even innate, pace of human conversation: When one person finishes speaking, the other typically pauses a moment — about 200 milliseconds, to be exact — before talking.