Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Federal regulators last week took the first step on a journey that could lead to the end of the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network and the migration of most voice traffic to IP-based networks.

While there are sure to be twists along the way, including detours being pondered by federal law enforcement, the destination is a place with more innovative communications services at lower costs.

In launching an examination of IP-enabled communications, the Federal Communications Commission outlined ways to classify the technology. Currently, the VOIP (voice-over-IP) umbrella includes computer-to-computer calls that travel over the public Internet, such as those made through Inc.’s Free World Dialup; calls between computers and phones, such as those delivered by Vonage Inc.; and more traditional phone-to-phone calls that travel over dedicated networks upgraded for IP transmissions.

To read the full story, click here.