FCC: International calling revenue sank 10 percent in 2009

Phone companies saw their international calling revenue plunge 10 percent in 2009 as more consumers turned to the Internet and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to communicate abroad.

The report shows international calling firms have been beset by the same problems plaguing other traditional phone companies: the rising threat of wireless and the Internet, which enables voice, text and video communications in real-time without per-minute charges.

U.S. revenue for international phone service fell from $7.3 billion in 2008 to $6.6 billion in 2009, with carriers citing the economy and competition from VoIP as leading factors in the decline.

The cost per-minute for U.S. consumers decreased during the same time period by 7.5 percent. The cost of international calls dropped 83 percent between 2000 and 2009.