VON vs Old School

3:00 PM -- SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Don't come to VON looking for TDM.

That's not meant to be a joke. I just chatted with someone working for a local city government; he's looking for VOIP equipment that also supports TDM. He came to VON hoping to see NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) or Nortel Networks Ltd. but found the exhibit listings full of new-age startups.

VOIP has its obvious appeal -- free long distance calling! -- but the network he's working on includes fire and police stations. It needs old-school telco reliability and better security than most IP services. "You can't have it hacked and you can't have it down," he says.

VOIP has gained ground, but for some, VON remains a showcase for technology too new and cool to be useful just yet.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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