Coldwater, Michigan offers VoIP phone service

ZDNet reports that Coldwater, Michigan (pop. 10,000) became the first municipality in the US to offer Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone service to residents. The purpose is to create an alternative to Verizon Communications, the only provider of telephone service in Coldwater.ZDNet reports that Coldwater, Michigan (pop. 10,000) became the first municipality in the US to offer Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone service to residents. The purpose is to create an alternative to Verizon Communications, the only provider of telephone service in Coldwater.

ZDNet also reports that the city hopes to get a “competitive advantage over Charter Communications. Charter and Coldwater’s Board of Public Utilities both sell broadband access, which is required for VoIP service. Charter Communications, however, doesn’t sell a VoIP service.”

Many small towns already provide wired and wireless broadband service because of the lack of interest from cable and DSL companies to provide fast Internet access to their residents. Coldwater will be the first, however, to sell VoIP phone service. If more towns follow Coldwater’s example, it could mean lower prices for both broadband and phone service across the US. Indeed, what is remarkable about Coldwater’s business model is that they have chosen to be a reseller of Vonage and will offer Vonage calling plans to its residents.