Time For Skype To Start Charging In The U.S.

skype_logo.jpgBeginning in 2007, SkypeOut calls will no longer be free within the US and Canada. The company announced on Wednesday that they would start to charge a yearly fee to call from Skype to any mobile or land-line phone. Calls from PC to PC will remain free.

Unlimited yearly calling will cost $29.95. If you purchase the plan before January 31, 2007, it will only cost $14.95. Without an unlimited plan, users can pay 2.1 cents per minute to calls within the U.S. and Canada, which is the same as the rate for international calls.

“We see a willingness by consumers to make SkypeOut calls that are well priced,” Don Albert, Skype’s general manager for North America, told The New York Times.

SkypeOut calls have been free within the US and Canada since last Spring as a promotion, although it was always a paid service internationally. Given that most phone plans average about $30 per month, $30 per year is still pretty darn cheap. I purchased the plan at $14.95 and noticed that you can only purchase one year at the discounted rate.