Jeff is so, so right about the lack of SoftPhone appreciation by the USA telcos.
I mean, how stupid does one have to get to realize that if you already own a customer relationship, are you listening Time Warner, Cox, Comcast, etc. in the cable world, AT&T, Verizon and Qwest in the land line world or Cingular, T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon) and you have customers using Skype, Gizmo, Yahoo, AOL AIM PhoneLine, Google Talk, etc, you have an audience you already get paid by.
Why the telcos let money pass them by is about as dumb as anything in business. My health club finds a way to make more money off of me every year. So does the auto dealer. It's called the upsell, but is disguised as Customer Relationship Management.
The telcos, and their castoff at the MSOs in charge of Voice idea of an upsell is called net neutrality. They will let you do more if we pay them more, versus being innovative or even me too. Heck, I'd accept "me too" from Verizon or Cox or AT&T, their not even there yet, let alone "me different." But Gracie, I'm not surprised. It's expected when our FCC subscribes to the theory of letting the big guys shape change, versus the agents of change. But that becomes possible when the emerging giants (i.e. Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.), become mainstream players and rather than change the game, would rather be part of the old boys club.
But I'm seeing light. AOL is moving back to their roots. Google is clearly in the change the game mindset and Apple always has been, and I even think Earthlink has that vibe going but it will be a while before they get there but look at Helio and you'll see the strands there. Globally the Asian Telcos, especially in Korea are just blasting away, and BT, always inventive in the UK is really becoming a forward thinking operation.......
My axiom is: Change The Game..Before The Game Changes You.