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Summary:

Vonage says a cable operator was blocking the service in the midwest and that caused a massive outage last week. The news comes via Advanced IP Pipeline which reported the first incident of port blocking. Brooke Schulz, Vonage’s vice president for corporate communications, confirmed that the […]

Vonage says a cable operator was blocking the service in the midwest and that caused a massive outage last week. The news comes via Advanced IP Pipeline which reported the first incident of port blocking.

Brooke Schulz, Vonage’s vice president for corporate communications, confirmed that the company is “investigating a new instance” of service interruption that appears to be another case of port blocking. Schulz said the incident involves Vonage customers who use high-speed Internet services provided by a cable operator, somewhere in the Midwest U.S.

The company says it still doesn’t know how many customers were affected. Jeffrey Citron, Vonage CEO last week told me that “port blocking” is something that “keeps him up all the time.” Clearly, not being married to a pipe is a disadvantage for independent VoIP service providers.

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  1. My cable ISP blocks port 25. Is that censorship?

  2. Not according to FCC reps and the Chairman. It was asked of them at VON. They said that blocking is illegal only if it is done as part of an anti-competitive measure. Looks like there are lots of subjective matters here.

    By the way, the consent decree is based on common carrier regulation, it will be interesting to see how FCC handles the cable service provider.

  3. When is the blocking anti-competitive? If the ISP is offering a voice service?

    Wouldn’t an ISP consider blocking VoIP then until they had a voice service available, preventing a player like Vonage from gaining traction in their region?

  4. I think it would be interesting to see how the FCC comes down on this in the long term. what happens when network owners start to deprioritze the vonage traffic and boost the quality of their own voip.

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