TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Vonage's Citron Says VoIP Blocking Is 'Censorship'

Re: Vonage's Citron Says VoIP Blocking Is 'Censorship'
3 Mar 2005 19:57:06 -0800

Jack Decker wrote:

> By Paul Kapustka
> Courtesy of Advanced IP Pipeline

> SAN FRANCISCO -- According to Vonage Holdings Corp. CEO Jeffrey
> Citron, intentional blocking of Voice over IP traffic is more than
> just a competitive dirty trick -- it's an act of censorship against
> free speech.

The concept of "freedom of speech" is that the _govt_ can't stop you
from speaking.

It does not mean that someone has to provide you with the soapbox or
bullhorn from which to speak. When it comes to that, you're on your

My local convenience store and drugstore carry certain newspapers, but
not all for my area. Does that mean they are _censoring_ the ones
they don't sell? According to Vonage they are.

Likewise, my local convenience store carries its own brand of milk
from its own dairy. I guess according to Vonage it should be required
to carry every brand of milk offered in the area, but for some reason
no one seems to care. People who want a specific brand of milk,
cheese, or candy bar can go to any store they want to get it.
Likewise, there are lots of ISPs, and if one chooses not to support
VOIP, a customer can go find another one.

As somene else here pointed out, the VOIP industry had a big
celebration when it was recently determined that they're not under
regulation -- they don't have any of the burdens the traditional
phone companies have which saves them a heck of a lot of money
and aggravation. But now the VOIP people want to impose those
very same regulations on others. Seems rather unfair to me.

Someone asked the telecom director of my employer while we
don't "save money and use VOIP". The director replied
emphatically that the Internet is NOT free -- having it
requires routers and servers and networking and all of that
comes at a cost. Adding VOIP on an enterprise-wide basis
would add quite a load said installation and increase its cost.

Right now VOIP is a novelty, but if and when a lot of people start
using it I suspect the bandwidth to carry all that chatter will be
consequential and drive up ISP costs.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But Lisa, see the two earlier messages
in this issue on this topic (Jack Decker and Danny Burstein). It
would appear the 'government' in the form of the FCC *did* get
involved in this 'censorship' case, and after a friendly chat and a
fine, the ISP had a change of attitude. And unlike at your place of
employment, where someone else is paying the bill, here we have a
public service where presumably the customers are paying the bill for
the type of service they wish to receive. PAT]

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