Internet telephony is the integration and convergence of voice and data networks, services, and applications. The rapidly developing technology can convert analog voice input to digital data, send it over available networked channels, and then convert it back to voice output. Traditional circuit-switching networks such as telephone lines can be used together with packet-switching networks such as the Internet, thereby merging communication modes such as email, voice mail, fax, pager, real-time human speech, and multimedia videoconferencing into a single integrated system. Because Internet telephony allows the interchangeable and seamless use of phones, computers, personal digital assistants, TV cables, wireless, and Web technology, myriad combinations become possible.
The transformation of the Internet from a network application using phone lines to a general communications infrastructure through which voice is but one of many data types offered has a wide impact on applications, architectures, networks, economics, public policy, industry structures, regulation, and service providers. This book explores these and other issues, and considers future scenarios as Internet telephony continues to alter the communications landscape.
David D. Clark, Daniel Fryxell, William Lehr, Brett Leida, Terrence P. McGarty, Lee W. McKnight, Philip Mutooni, Husham Sharifi, Marc S. Shuster, Marvin Sirbu, David Tennenhouse, Kanchana Wanichkorn, Jonathan Weinberg.
About the Editors
Lee W. McKnight is Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.
William Lehr is an Associate Research Scholar at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and Associate Director of the MIT Internet and Telecoms Convergence Consortium.
David D. Clark is Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science and Principal Investigator of the MIT Internet and Telecoms Convergence Consortium.