VoIP—a short way of saying Voice over Internet Protocol—is a technique for turning the analog audio signals that make up a regular phone conversation into digital data that can be sent out over the Internet.
A lot of people are excited about VoIP because to them it translates into free phone calls over a standard Internet connection. By downloading free VoIP software, they can make Internet phone calls and bypass the phone company—and its charges—completely.
Some consider this a VoIP revolution. Major carriers and new VoIP providers are taking the technology and setting up VoIP calling plans around the United States. And of course the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) is checking out the potential ramifications of VoIP service.
It's not far-fetched to say that someday VoIP technology will totally replace the traditional phone system that's been in place for more than 100 years.