TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: VoIP Provider Presses FCC to Block Broadband Discrimination

VoIP Provider Presses FCC to Block Broadband Discrimination

Lisa Minter (
Mon, 01 Nov 2004 14:43:05 -0500

VoIP Provider Presses FCC to Block Broadband Discrimination
Nuvio Filing Threatens to Re-ignite Cable Open Access Battles of Late 1990

By Alan Breznick, editor, Cable Datacom News

In a case that may have major implications for both cable operators
and phone companies, a little-known voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider is
urging the FCC to keep broadband providers from tampering with
independent IP telephony services riding on the same fat pipes.

Nuvio Corp., a commercial, private-label VoIP provider based in the
Kansas City suburbs, wants the FCC to prohibit MSOs, Baby Bells and
other broadband providers from blocking or degrading access to other
VoIP services. In a letter and corresponding white paper filed with
the Commission in mid-September, the firm proposes that the agency use
its Title I authority under the 1996 Telecommunications Act to ban
"discriminatory practices by vertically integrated broadband/VoIP
providers" offering rival services.

"If these vertically integrated firms are free to discriminate against
unaffiliated VoIP providers, they will almost certainly garner the
major share of the VoIP market, and in doing so drive smaller
unaffiliated VoIP providers out of the market," the company
argues. "If left unchecked, such discrimination would seriously
endanger the vibrant competition that currently exists in the market
for VoIP services and ultimately harm consumers."

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