Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

In the late 1990’s the fax machine was considered to be an anachronism on its way out, like the rotary dial phone. With the rise of the internet, and specifically email and other forms of cyber communication, the bulky hard copy faxes that had taken over many business procedures throughout the world were thought to be disposable. Many offices began to whittle away at their fax machine budgets and prepare to go completely paperless.

But the disappearance of the fax machine did not occur; instead, it evolved into FoIP — Fax over Internet Protocol. This is also called Broadband Telephony, Internet Telephony, and Broadband Telephone Service. No matter what it’s called, the system uses the public internet (IP) instead of the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

What does FoIP do?

The reason that VoIP technology was developed in the first place was the increasing unreliability of the existing telephone networks throughout the world. Even in North America, where the telephone was first invented and exploited, the telephonic infrastructure was beginning to decay at an accelerating rate, and with the breakup of the AT&T monolith into regional companies, the maintenance budgets were cut drastically, so that landline services became unacceptable to many major corporations for their most important transmissions.

As large corporations go, so go the small fry. Smaller companies also began clamoring for a better way to send and receive hardcopy transmissions. With the advent of cellphones and the technology that goes with it, engineers and technicians saw a perfect way to get around the disappointing performance of landlines: The internet.

Using the internet it now became once again possible to provide instantaneous transmissions, not just from city to city or state to state, but from country to country. Distance and landlines were no longer part of the deal.

Regulatory issues

Over the years since the telephone landline became a common feature of the business landscape, the federal government in the United States, and governments in other countries, have burdened the telephone industry with a host of regulations and safeguards. These rules included such things as length of phone calls and the subject matter of phone calls. As the rules got more specific and complex, large organizations found it more and more difficult to keep abreast of all of them. And when they were found not to be incompliance, companies found themselves stuck with large governmental fines. This included the sending and receiving of faxes.

However, all that disappeared once companies turned to FoIP. Since telephone landlines were no longer involved, the rules and regulations of the different governing bodies also went away. That means today when a fax is sent or received via FoIP, there is no need to worry about staying in compliance with any federal or state regulations — and the business world loves that!

Security issues

The one great advantage telephone landlines have always had is security. Tapping into a phone line requires a raft of legal prerequisites and the technology advanced to the point that scrambling a phone call so that no one except the recipient could understand it was as easy as falling off a log. The same could not be said of cell phone technology or FoIP technology in its initial stages.

However, these security concerns have for the most part been overcome by advancing technology. Still, a prudent company should hire the best technical consultants in the area of FoIP, such as XMedius, to help install and maintain the highest quality equipment and programs to insure top notch performance and reliable security.

FoIP costs are also coming down, now that the technology for the most part has become standardized.