As late as the 1990s, making a long distance call was ridiculously expensive. You would have had to make a collect call, a telephone call in which the calling party wants to place a call at the called party's expense. With such a setup, you wouldn't call anyone outside your own family, unless it was agreed upon in advance, or an absolute necessity. You would definitely not call your daughter's friend in Sweden from a hotel in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, just to check if your daughter might have followed her friend home after school.
This might seem like a small change, but it isn't. It's enormous. There has been a collapse in costs of communication, and we can thank the Internet and the World Wide Web for that. New and innovative services using the web as platform, such as Skype and Google Talk, take advantage of this. These small applications aren't just changing the face of the Telecom industry, but they are also changing people's lives, and society as a whole. It might just not be apparent to us now, since we are always occupied with chasing down the next big thing. But if we cast an eye in the rearview mirror, we'll probably realize that we're in the middle of a great wind of change right now.