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Of blocked ports and fines

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Vonage’s suit against an “unknown” local service provider which had been blocking its service has been successfully resolved. The blocker – Madison River Communications – has decided that well, it will not block the VoIP traffic. Everyone has been quick to jump on to this story, and say that FCC has fined the company, $15,000. If you read the press release that it is not a fine, but a contribution to the US Treasury. When FCC fines someone, they say so.

According to the terms of the consent decree, Madison River commits that it will refrain from blocking VOIP traffic and ensure that such blocking will not recur. The company will pay a contribution of $15,000 to the United States Treasury to settle this matter.

“We saw a problem, and we acted swiftly to ensure that Internet voice service remains a viable option for consumers,” said FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, “The industry must adhere to certain consumer protection norms if the Internet is to remain an open platform for innovation.”

2 Responses to “Of blocked ports and fines”

  1. Not being legally trained, I would like to ask others who are as to whether this could be a precedence for cable modem service providers. The decree is based on Section 201(b), which relates to common carriers. I thought cable modem service is not.

    Any thoughts?