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VoIP service Vonage has reportedly dropped off the net, with UK customers complaining that their voice service has disappeared since lunchtime today.

Vonage customers have been complaining that the service disappeared around lunchtime today, and that once they manage to get through to technical support they are told that there's no schedule for a fix and that the whole network is titsup.

Vonage usually provides a Voice over IP service, allowing customers to use a normal fixed-line handset over their broadband network to get cheaper calls, but has been fighting for financial stability following various patent disputes and legislative requirements such as 999 services. Vonage has just agreed to pay its CEO's commuting costs, however - just over half a million dollars, estimates the Atlanta Business Chronicle - so things can't be that bad.

VoIP services like Vonage didn't change the world as once predicted, but they did force competing companies to cut their prices and we all got cheaper calls as a result. Most telephony users prefer reliability to price, and with Vonage's price advantage being marginalised, the company can't afford problems with reliability.

We tried to contact Vonage about the problems but the company hasn't responded to our enquiries. ®

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