Matt Richtel from the New York Times reports this morning that Skype, the internet calling service owned by eBay, will begin charging $30 per year for unlimited calls to landlines and cell phones within the United States and Canada starting on January 31, 2007. If you pre-pay for one year of SkypeOut before that date, you’ll get it for $14.95.
As Rex Dixon says, this is a great deal, particularly if you make a lot of long-distance calls and you’re still somehow tied to a landline instead of a cell phone. I tried the service back when Skype first made it available for free, and it was pretty awesome, especially for those who might spend a lot of time at the house and don’t want to use cell phone minutes. We’ll be using Skype extensively for the Soundgruve office, as $30 per year is a much better number than $30 per month for a regular landline. I’d highly recommend purchasing the annual subscription before January 31, because then you get the service for $15, which is a complete steal.