While most of the great, revolutionary benefits of the Internet have long since been recognized, there has been one holdout. Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) has never quite achieved a breakthrough into widespread adoption.

There has been talk for years of the Internet displacing traditional phone lines as the preferred platform for transmitting calls. VoIP holds the promise of affordable and reliable calls combined with the many other benefits of high-speed data transmission. Despite the rumors, the technology has yet to catch on, until now.

According to one of the world’s biggest telecommunications providers, more of its customers are taking advantage of its VoIP services. Verizon Global Wholesale currently has a base of more 700 wholesale VoIP customers. In late May, the company reported that the number of VoIP minutes it supplied to its customers grew more than 200 percent from 2008 to 2009.

The company attributes the growth in its customer usage of VoIP to a cooperative relationship with industry standards and committees, at home and abroad.

In announcing the numbers, Verizon Global Wireless President Mike Millegan credited this cooperation with the development of new products and services, the acceptance of which would be critically slow without standardization.

He explained that since the company launched its VoIP portfolio 10 years ago, it has seen “steady growth reflecting customer desire for reliable, cost-effective IP voice services.”

As the market grows, Verizon is continuing to add new VoIP services, such as a new paperless invoice service and improved VoIP network interfaces in Europe, both planned for this year. Verizon is also preparing to add caller-provided CLI (caller line identity) support, which allows a main phone number to appear as the caller ID even when a call is made from an extension, branch or home-based representative. This helps businesses present a uniform presence to their customers, in an age when telecommuting and the decentralized office structure are slowly becoming the norm.