What if you want to sign up with VoIP, have been thinking strongly about Vonage, but now that's unavailable to you?
And what if you are already a Vonage customer but perceive a sinking ship that you want to leave?
I say you go to a low-cost replacement with staying power...hold on to that pending Vonage revival/disappearance.
Hedge your bets. You would want something that will work for you without a separate investment in dedicated router or ATA.
Whatever you do, don't get woo-ed by your current broadband provider. I mean, I like my Comcash for digital cable, digital music and my broadband connection, but their current voice offer escalates after 12-months. Your broadband provider may want you now and offer a promotional come-on, sure. But if experience is any sort of teacher, several months later comes the small-print fees and rate increases.
So what about one of the services that's an outgrowth of pure play IM?
Not crazy about that either.
I think you would not want a service that won't be pulled by ownership not quite decided on how seriously they want to push their own service at the expense of telcos and cable cos they partner with in other initiatives (AOL, Yahoo Messenger with Voice, etc.). I am not convinced these will be front-and-center for the long term.
Other pure plays?
are better run companies than Vonage, without the bleeding losses, silly ads or legal problems, but the thing is they are stand alones in a market inexorably moving to triple-and quadruple plays from the cable and telephony broadband providers. So if you are looking for a VoIP service for the long term, maybe you don't go there.
Which leaves Skype
or Gizmo Project
. Both are financially stable, have scalable communications and services infrastructure, and both will be around for awhile.