Long-distance charges are dead in London

LFPlogoA Waterloo-based business offering national long-distance service has partnered with The London Free Press to offer unrestricted long-distance telephone service for $3.95 a month and a one-time $10 activation fee.

Worldline Inc. is using the Internet to deliver phone-to-phone service for less, while keeping voice quality high.said John Stix, Executive vice-president marketing for WorldIine.

“We are really excited about this. We use the Internet to deliver an unbeatable price point, it delivers efficiencies you can’t beat in a telephone system,” said Stix. “By using (the Internet) we can compress more data and it is far more efficient. It makes distance irrelevant.”

For The Free Press, it’s a chance for the newspaper to enhance its profile as the premier communication service in Southwestern Ontario,” added Sherri O’Brien, circulation sales and reader marketing manager for The Free Press.

“The thing we need to emphasize is that there areno strings attached, it is nottoo good to be true,” saidO’Brien.

“The bottom line is it works, it is crystal-clear reception. This is an opportunity for us to share with our readers an opportunity to use this service.”

In 1994 the telephone industry in Canada was deregulated, opening the door to competition for Bell Canada. By 1998 conversations were being transmitted live over the Internet, but it required computer hardware and software to make calls from personal computers.

Worldline, however, uses voice over Internet protocol, or VOIP for short, to transmit the telephone signal from a customer’s home to a Worldline office, which then transmits it over an Internet line.

Neither the sender nor the receiver needs to have home Internet service. “It really means every call is a local call. It’s the end of long distance,” said Stix. All the residential customer needs to do is punch in a seven-digit number, then listen to a five-second advertisement from The FreePress, after which the customer dials the number he or she wants to be connected to and the call goes through.The service uses existing phone lines and no additional equipment is needed.