It seems to me that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is likely to replace the technology used to speech communication (aka Telephone Calls).

Even the dearly beloved BT (in the UK) are planning to switch the technology to it in the next five years.

I am sure that the technology will change - but (since I have Broadband) I decided to give it 'a bit of a go' !!

I started at:-
http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/06/12/voip_on_the_line.html .

That led me to:-
http://www.freeworlddialup.com/ .

I clicked on the "Download" button and downloaded "SJPhone" and installed it.

That was fairly painless - now I had got a 'Software Telephone'

I now needed a Telephone provider. I went to:
http://account.freeworlddialup.com/ and 'SignedUp'

I now have a 'freeworlddialup' (FWD) phone number it is:- 435428

I look forward to either receiving a call from you on that number.
OR
You can let me know your number and I will call you !!

It took dim old me about 20 minutes from start to being able to dial out