Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

VOIP: A LifeSaver

VOIP - A Life-Saver for Returning Residents

A major nightmare of returning residents has been quietly overcome.

We Jamaicans are among the highest consumers per capita of tele-communication services, evidenced by the amounts spent on long distance calling. Staying in touch is critical to our lifestyle.

A Jamaican living abroad who is contemplating a return to live back home lives in fear of sitting in Jamaica and running up thousands of dollars (or pounds) in international phone calls.

Fortunately, Cable and Wireless has come to the rescue with its new Voice Over IP (VOIP) offering. For approximately US$30 per month for VOIP service and another US$30 for DSL service, at a combined rate of US$60 the following become possible:
  1. calling North America for free, or no additional cost

  2. calling the UK for 3-5 cents per minute

  3. calling the eastern Caribbean for as low as 11 cents per minute

  4. calling other VOIP users in Jamaica for less than it costs to make a local land-line call or cell-phone call (!)

  5. having a US number that rings in Jamaica, and appears to everyone in the world to be a number based in the geography of the area code
This is all quite remarkable, and has happened quietly, without fanfare. It has tremendous ramifications, however, for a returning resident who must spend hours on the phone, and be reachable by others at a low cost.

It might not be a reason to move back, but it certainly takes away at least one major obstacle.


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