TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC to Decide VoIP Fate Next Week

FCC to Decide VoIP Fate Next Week

Lisa Minter (
Wed, 03 Nov 2004 19:34:27 -0500

By Roy Mark

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday it would
rule Nov. 9 on whether Internet telephony is an interstate service and
exempt from state and local regulation and tariffs.

The decision is considered critical to the future development of the
emerging Voice over IP industry, which hopes to avoid negotiating
rates with 50 separate state governments.

In particular, the FCC will be ruling on a request by independent
Internet telephony provider Vonage that would classify the business as
an interstate information service, which is no different from
applications, such as e-mail. Such a ruling would put VoIP beyond the
taxing and regulatory reach of the states.

"The [Vonage] petition gives the commission an appropriate opportunity
to immediately declare that VoIP services, whether traversing the
public Internet or privately managed IP networks, are interstate in
nature and subject to the commission's exclusive jurisdiction," 61
members of Congress stated in an October letter to FCC Chairman
Michael Powell.

Full story at:

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