Commentary: Ad-Supported Phone Service Is Bad

"eBay CEO Meg Whitman, apparently still under the influence of whatever caused her to invest $4 billion in Skype last week, says that within years voice telephone calls will be "free", subsidized by advertising and transaction fees. Further, there will be so much free service that it might become impossible to sell voice telephony minutes.

That a service as vital as voice telephony could soon be "made possible by our sponsor" is capitalism run amok and endangers the quality and reliability of our voice network. Worse, it may not save us any money if broadband charges rise in response to the death of wired telephony."
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