Never friendly, the battle between the Internet calling companies and the incumbent telcos has gotten downright ugly. Vonage, the biggest Internet phone company, has taken 500,000 customers from giants such as Verizon and SBC. Those customers had been worth $100 million in annual operating income to the Bells. And the stakes are rising; Vonage Chief Jeffrey Citron expects to double his customer base again this year.[.....]
So far Peter John's case is the only 911 snafu to draw much public attention. And while John is now out of the hospital and on the way to a full recovery, Citron, trying to keep the heat on the Bells, warns that until the 911 systems are connected, there is the possibility of a real tragedy: "If something really bad happens, I'd hate to be a [Bell] chief executive testifying before Congress about why there have been delays."
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