The Null Device

Skype adds Australia

As of today, internet phone service Skype has added Australia to the list of countries in which you can lease dial-in phone numbers. This means that, for a fee considerably lower than Telstra line rental, you can rent a phone number in any one of various Australian area codes, which, when dialled, will reach your computer wherever you are logged in, or, failing that, a voicemail feature. Dialling the number counts as a local call in the respective area code.

There are now 14 countries in which one can get SkypeIn phone numbers. Because of the arcane webwork of telecommunications regulations any such enterprise would get enmeshed in, some countries are easier to get numbers in than others. In the UK, US, Australia, Brazil and Finland, for example, you just select an area code, pick a number (and you get the option to search for strings of digits you'd like) and pay. In Japan and Poland, you have to check a box certifying that you are a resident of the location in question before they give you your number; presumably numbers there are legally reserved for residents. (Whether or not they check is another matter.) France, Germany and Switzerland go one step further, requiring you to obtain a number from the local telco bureaucracy and then pass it on to Skype.

There are 1 comments on "Skype adds Australia":

Posted by: toby Wed Apr 26 22:41:14 2006

Except that the vast majority of Australians will never have broadband access that doesn't involve paying Telstra line rental costs.

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