The term "telephony" is used to refer to any aspect of telephone technology (usage, design, etc.).
Although traditional dial-telephone service is tightly tied to standards which prevent it from advancing at anything near the pace of computing or the internet, it still continues to be the main venue for real-time voice communications. Because of this, a great deal of effort goes into combining POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) with the greater flexibility offered by computing technology; many services are now available which would have been unfeasible or impossible just a couple of decades ago.
- VoIP (Voice over IP): connecting individuals to the POTS network using a broadband internet connection, usually with free "long-distance" and very low international rates compared to wired POTS
- computer telephony: