Plan B, however, is resistant to this strategy, because while it creates the same value as a phone call, it does so without any of the mechanics that regulation attaches to. No dialing, no phone numbers, no phones even, and, most ominously for the incumbents, no charge to the end user. Vonage may be competition, but they don't undermine the idea of charging the user the way Skype or Yahoo Instant Messenger do.
An interesting piece by Clay Shirky. As I read this, I kept thinking of the voice conversation that Tom Hoffman and I had recently using iChat and how well that worked. Could hear him clear as day. Also makes me think about my school and how all of our classroom lack telphone service. Some type of hybrid system that interfaces the building phone network with the our data network would go a long way to getting phones in our classrooms.