TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC Lets SBC Dial Direct to Get Net Phone Numbers

FCC Lets SBC Dial Direct to Get Net Phone Numbers

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Thu, 03 Feb 2005 12:12:12 -0500

By Ben Charny CNET February 2, 2005, 2:11 PM PT

The nation's top utility regulator has made it easier and cheaper for
SBC Communications and other Internet phone service providers to get
10-digit phone numbers -- another federal boost for the mushrooming
broadband phone industry.

In essence, the Federal Communications Commission gave SBC permission
to get telephone numbers directly from their official source -- a
privately run, quasi-government agency known as the North American
Numbering Plan Administration. It's a much cheaper alternative.

Before the FCC's action, only those Net phone providers certified by
states could approach the agency directly. The SBC division selling
Net phone services argued that it wasn't fair; the calls actually use
the Internet and are therefore off-limits to any regulation. Also,
requiring certification multiplies the already onerous amount of
expensive state and federal telephone regulation.

"The waiver is in the public interest," FCC commissioners wrote in a
decision released this week. "It will help expedite the implementation
of (Internet-enabled) services."

Other Internet phone providers are sure to win such an exemption, the
FCC notes in its 27-page order. The rules exemption for SBC is in
effect for another few months, as commissioners finish drafting rules
for Net phone providers.

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