AT&T on Monday announced the first significant expansion of its Internet phone service,. The service is now available in parts of New York and broadband-rich California. In California, CallVantage is available in Orange County and in Los Angeles, Oakland, Riverside, San Bernadino, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. In New York, the service is available in Long Island, New York City and Westchester County.
AT&T launched CallVantage several weeks ago in New Jersey and Texas. It plans to expand soon into 14 other states, so that the service is available in 100 major markets by the end of the year. CallVantage uses a technology called voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to send calls over Internet. As with all VoIP service providers, AT&T calling plans come with significant savings over traditional phone systems because of the lack of taxes and regulations that apply to Internet calls. But there are significant drawbacks as well, including losing one's telephone service if the power goes out.