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Despite the apparent ease and convenience of using broadband phone services, many users of high-speed internet have not been lured by the service.

This has been highlighted by Elizabeth Judge of the Times, who has pointed to figures from Ofcom which show that only 14 per cent of broadband internet subscribers used voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) technology in the first quarter of 2008.

According to Ms Judge, price and quality could be two factors which are dissuading broadband customers from talking to others via their internet connection.

She said: "The future should have been bright for broadband phone services, but it seems that making telephone calls over the internet has remained merely a niche interest.

"While better phone deals may be one reason that consumers have not taken to it, others could have been deterred by the poor quality of internet phone calls."

The fall in international calls from many mobile phone services has also been picked out by Ofcom as a possible reason for stunted VoIP growth.

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