Rural Telcos Blocking Vonage?


I ran into Mike “TechDirt” Masnick over at DEMO yesterday – we chatted about among many things Vonage, and who was blocking it. I think a lot of people misunderstood my last post about Vonage blocking, assuming it was SBC who was doing the blocking. Mike pointed out correctly that some rural phone companies who are doing the blocking and tackling of Vonage. Thought I would post a quick update.


Om Malik

Aswath, good points, and I stand corrected. I forgot the 5Ws and two source rule. However, I think there is more than what meets the eye here. Still no need to cry wolf again – I think it is also important to point it out as well. Not get into a tizzy, but simply note, that this is happening. And actually that was what I was trying to achieve with the first post.

Aswath Rao

Before I state my thoughts, let me make it legally clear that I am not accusing anyone of anything.

It is very true that you did not imply that SBC was doing the blocking. It is the old “phone company” syndrome. But take a look at the dynamics of the story. A prof remarks about an FCC filing, without specifics; an FCC staffer confirms the filing but does not give additional detail; the complaint refuses to comment on the story. But Advanced IP Pipeline goes ahead with the story (what happened to 5Ws and 2 independent sources?) and the blogosphere rises in arms. Now AIP “updates” the story quoting the FCC Chairman: “his understanding is that the blocking is not coming from major service providers, but from rural Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). (my emphasis added). His understanding? So the investigation is still in progress? If so can he openly comment on it? If anything, Bellheads are regulatory savvy. So why will they do it this openly and this early?

We have cried wolf once before with BT; this may very well turn out to be the second time. We have only one more chance. Soon there wouldn’t be an audience for us when it indeed happens.

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