I recently learned that 8×8’s Packet8 service was awarded a US Government contract and, there’s going to be an installation of 15 Packet8 Virtual Office unlimited extensions at the US Army’s, Yuma Arizona facility. It looks like the voice over IP market has gotten to the point where the government has really caught on to it and is beginning to roll out installations on a pretty widespread basis.
We’ve been seeing the Army, and other parts of the government coming to our Internet Telephony Conference & Expo shows since about 2001. It looks like now, the various branches of the government and military are taking voice over IP very seriously, and they see that IP communications is a great way to go in terms of communications from the stand point of reliability, redundancy, etc.
It’s interesting to note that, the military has been a big user of voice over IP, in installations in remote areas that needed satellites for communications. Subsequently, what they’ve been able to do is use high powered compression equipment to send multiple conversations, first these conversations are encrypted and then multiple conversations are compressed into packets, and send up to satellites, and then sent back down to the receiving and calling parties.
So, this is not the Army’s first foray, or the military’s foray into voice over IP, but it does show that the technology’s continuing to grow in our military, and hopefully it will allow our soldiers and officers to be more efficient, and more productive, just like voice over IP has done for consumers and business users.