Zen Internet now offers a Voice over IP (VoIP) service to is broadband customers. For £4.99 a month broadband users can sign up to the service which provides free on-net calls and includes 1000 minutes of free calls to UK landlines. Full details of the service at www.zen.co.uk/voice. International call rates start at 2.35 pence per minute, with calls being charged per second and no connection charge.
For those people without any VoIP hardware Zen are recommending the Speedtouch 780WL which they can supply for £58.74 when ordering the VoIP product. This router provides two ports for connection of telephone handsets and a connection into your normal telephone line in addition to the more standard four ethernet ports and wireless.
One small note of caution exists for Zen broadband customers on their metered products and that is to remember the telephone usage will count against your broadband usage, though even if you use the full free minutes it is only likely to account for around 0.5GB of usage.
The Zen product enters a market that is already crowded and is also competing with the large number of low cost telephone call bundles. Where VoIP becomes more useful is for provision of a second line and thus is ideal for home workers since you will then know whether an incoming call is work or personal depending on the line it comes in on.