In the age of technological innovation, nothing stays the same, and no technology is safe. Not event the ubiquitous hard-lined telephone. According to the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based market research firm, In-Stat, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) continues to gain users in the residential telephone service market.

The firm reports that more than 9 million U.S. households now have at least one active VoIP user, and many households use more than one VoIP service. This represents an increase from 6.5 percent to 7.9 percent of all U.S. households in the period from June to December of last year.

According to In-Stat, nearly half (49 percent) of the current residential VoIP users report that they had discontinued a traditional (non-VoIP) phone service when they got their VoIP services. The firm breaks down all users into client-based and facilities-based subscribers. Nearly 12 percent of survey respondents report that their only VoIP service is client-based. It is also clear that VoIP is gaining popularity as a business tool. Half of all users in the In-Stat research report use their residential VoIP service either in part or in whole for business purposes, including more than 40 percent of client-based users.     EC