TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Michigan PSC Issues Order on VoIP

Michigan PSC Issues Order on VoIP

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld_on_request)
Thu, 28 Apr 2005 17:53:31 -0400

The order is at this URL (PDF file):

The most significant part of the order is this: "The Commission
requests the Legislature to amend the Michigan Telecommunications Act
so as to specifically empower the Commission to assess the effect of
Voice over Internet Protocol service on Michigan's citizens, to
adopt non-intrusive registration and certification mechanisms by which
customer complaints regarding voice communication services may be
forwarded to the appropriate companies, and to ensure that all
citizens of this state have the benefit of enhanced 9-1-1 services."

In other words the Commission would like the our legislators to pass a
law (as part of this year's revision of the Michigan Telecommunications
Act) that would let them require VoIP providers to be licensed and, to
some degree, regulated by the Commission. The problem with that is
that the Federal Communications Commission has already ruled that VoIP
will be regulated at the federal level, so what the MPSC is in effect
asking the legislature to do is put Michigan into the position of
being in a "turf war" with the federal government. If the legislators
are smart they will not take this bait, at least not without taking a
good hard look at what limitations are placed on the states by the
federal ruling.

Note that the comments filed in this case were made approximately one
year ago, and things are changing in the VoIP industry on almost a
daily basis. As I posted earlier today, there are reports out that
the FCC will soon require VoIP companies to offer some type of 911
access. So these issues will get worked out at the federal level, and
there is no good reason the state should attempt to impose licensing
or regulation requirements beyond the normal consumer protection
regulations that apply to all businesses.

How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

If you live in Michigan, subscribe to the MI-Telecom group:

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