Regulatory pains for VoIP?

Internet Voice is a disruptive force, but there are some nagging signs of early pain for the technology. Most of these issues are around technological and regulatory issues. For instance, politicians are now lobbying hard to regulate VoIP. U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) and 61 other members of Congress, in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wrote that “VoIP services are inherently interstate in nature and should not be subject to a patchwork of state rules and regulations.” The legislators say that FCC should hurry up and pass a ruling on Vonage’s petition to classify business as an interstate information service no different than applications like e-mail. Such a ruling would put VoIP beyond the taxing and regulatory reach of the states, Internet News says. FCC chairman wants to leave this ruling as his legacy, we are told. But if the lobbying effort fails, you can pretty much kiss the independent business goodbye, because most companies would be left dealing with 52-state level regulatory regimes.

Recommended reading: Telephony magazine’s current cover story.

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