Until recently, when I thought of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), I thought about its connection to telecommunications in general and to the work that we do here at TMI. We prepare applications for certification, state registrations (where applicable), file FCC Form 499 reports, and more for many VoIP providers.
Then, about a year ago, I started to take a Mandarin Chinese language lesson every Wednesday at 7:00 pm with a tutor who lives in China. Even though many would say Chinese is one of the hardest languages to learn (and I can attest to that) our connection is quite simple. In the past, through traditional wireline service, I would have had to pay handsomely for an international call which most likely would have been scratchy and unreliable. My other option would have been to find a local community college or language course that could fit into my already busy schedule. Not to mention the time used in travel and money spent on gas. However, with VoIP (网络语音) our connection is as easy as signing onto a website. We are able to share information in real time. I can practice tones and write Chinese characters all in the comfort of my living room or local internet café. Twenty years ago, it would have been an opportunity I probably would not have pursued.
再见 (Mandarin for Good Bye)