New York (NY) - Verizon Communications informed its customers today it will be shutting down its VoiceWing Internet-based phone service on March 31 "to focus on other technologies." The affected customers can keep their phone numbers by switching to other services, however the process may take up to three weeks for the switch.
The company running the "back-end service for VoiceWing," DeltaThree, Inc., has been losing money and its stock was recently delisted from the Nasdaq exchange. Verizon spokeswoman, Bobbi Henson, said, "[The shutdown of VoiceWing] was a business decision based on a number of factors including the strategic fit of the service in our evolving digital portfolio."
AT&T's similar "CallVantage" service stopped signing up new subscribers this past summer. Both services use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to communicate phone calls. Recently, Comcast was questioned by the FCC on its similar voice services which, according to Comcast, operated on a different and isolated network and were not subject to the same congestion effects as with regular Internet traffic. The FCC's letter asked Comcast to explain their service in detail since they did not make the appropriate filings outlining their voice service network.
Verizon Business also announced today its Mid-Atlantic Local Services Acquisition (LSA) contract agreement with federal agencies in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. This three years agreement (with four renewable option years) allows those agencies to buy telephony services from Verizon, including "Centrex, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services, network-based voice messaging, private line data services, and related managed and professional services."
The contract also allows its business customers to "add advanced services, such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), in the future."
See the original AP article republished on BusinessWeek.