Amidst the hullabaloo, a federal appeals court this week saw it fit to allow Vonage to continue on its quest (that’s not Qwest, thank you) of customer accumulation. Vonage can proceed with its aggressive advertising campaign to acquire eardrums. But how long will the company last, regardless of whether they win or lose their appeal? VOIP is a full-fledged commodity these days, my friends. Just take a look at the list of VOIP plans and prices and you’re bound to agree …

While Verizon case might seem dodgy, who will shed a tear when Vonage is ultimately eaten by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, AOL, or Microsoft?

The customers? Perhaps … or perhaps not. I have a hunch that folks are more concerned with the long-term viability of their phone service, the cost of that service, and the ability to maintain their present phone numbers.

The workers? It’s all about that long-term viability. Do you care which logo is on your paycheck, as long as it doesn’t bounce?

The bigger question is whether Verizon will end up as the only elephant in the room. Will the courts and the federal agencies allow them to become a new monopoly in a new IP telecomm order?

There’s a fascinating read on VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver’s blog that details the operation of open source VOIP technology that predates the Verizon patent by two years. Jeff, a co-founder and minority shareholder of Vonage, eloquently states: “It seems something must have gone wrong somewhere for an asset of the public domain to end up in a patent.

Well, yeah.