Direct connection, or peering, between VoIP providers has lots of benefits. In particular, calls between different providers' subscribers don't have to transit the PSTN (public switched telephone network). That's beneficial because each such transit causes their sound quality to deteriorate, and costs money. In addition, features such as presence detection only work over end-to-end IP connections. Thus given VoIP's cost-saving and other attractions during a recession, peering should be growing increasingly popular. A new investment in peering leader XConnect Global Networks confirms that notion.