A method and system for managing the routing of communications data, such as real-time multimedia exchanges between remote sites, includes monitoring various communications modes, with each mode having pre-established quality of service parameter values and a pre-established session tariff. Some of the modes provide variable quality of service. The variable modes are monitored continuously to determine present-time quality of service parameter values. When a request to establish a communication session is received, the request will specify quality of service requirements. An acceptable session tariff is calculated based upon the match of the specified requirements with the pre-established parameter values of the modes.; In a preferred embodiment, the next step is to select that mode having the highest quality of service available for a session tariff that does not exceed the predefined acceptable session tariff. In this embodiment, the tariff of the selected mode may be greater than an alternative mode that satisfies the QoS requirements, but only if the selected mode has a greater QoS. In another embodiment, real-time multimedia sessions are conducted using available modes that include the global Internet, and the session tariff becomes more of a factor. In a third embodiment, the user identifies a QoS level and an acceptable session tariff, and the system notifies the user when present-time quality of service is available at the acceptable session tariff.