The telecommunications industry is now going through a major technological change, much bigger than the change from switchboards to rotary dials or from rotary dials to touch-tone. We're gradually shifting to phone services that use the Internet Protocol.
"IP" is a technical standard that allows voices, pictures, movies and music to be converted into "packets" of data (ones and zeroes), that can instantly be sent a few feet away over a local computer network, or many miles away, over the Internet.
Right now, there are two main reasons to use VoIP, and neither of them may apply to you:
(1) To tie together multiple locations of a business, or to allow someone who works outside the office to be connected to the office phone system, and have easy access to all of the phone lines and phone system features. For this, you will need a VoIP phone system, or a phone system that can be updated for VoIP use.
(2) To connect to a VoIP service provider to make inexpensive phone calls. In this case, VoIP is just another source of dial tone, and DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT. For the least expensive service (i.e., under $10 per month) you may need a special "SIP phone" and "SIP trunk" service.
If you need VOIP emergency phones, we expect to be able to help you in the very near future.