VoIPSphere too reactionary


Aswath Rao emailed me this morning and pointed out while other bloggers chase down the truth and fact check stuff, the VoIP bloggers are a bit reactionary. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with him. Like others who write about VoIP, I am too quick with my comments, which are well reactionary. Lets take the Costa Rican VoIP story which caught fire a few days back. The issue, Costa Rican incumbent, ICE wanted to declare VoIP a telecom service and proposed a legislation. The headline was Costa Rica MAY criminalize VoIP which was based on a Spanish language news report.

This is where the whole VoIPSphere bursts into flames and reacts. (I would have done precisely the same reactionary post!) So why bring it up? Well none of us, posed the question — perhaps the proposed legislation may not go through. Or that perhaps the legislation could be about terminating the call into PSTN. Or who good was the Techweb story after all. We did not read the original story in spanish and over reacted? I think in many ways we need to be more careful, and more circumspect about the VoIP business, because too much hype or over reaction could be detrimental. Our task should be to act as radar guns … just a thought folks. Thanks Aswath for bringing back the focus.


Aswath Rao

Neville, I reread your entry. Yes you do say that this is a proposal. But you also seem to suggest that given the recent scandals involving ICE, this is not surprising. Also I would like to bring to your atention that none of the blog entries were commented on to indicate that the situation is as determined as they were suggesting.

Even to this day people keep suggesting that VoIP is illegal in India. Any amount of repeating and quoting the rules seems to be sufficient. The more interesting aspect is really to associate this with “developing countries”. I guess when FCC declares that VoIP also will be treated equally for access charges purposes (which I predict will happen), this topic will die down.

Om Malik

chest thumping aside, i don’t think we can say blogs are better. different yes, but better, i don’t know as you reminded me

Aswath Rao

On a related topic, Tom Keating has posted an article that aregues why blogs are different and better. This is a reminder why we as bloggers and readers have to ensure the principles of blogs are maintained.

Neville Hobson

Interesting commentary, Om, re the Costa Rica VoIP issue. This may have started from the post I wrote on Feb 14 (http://nevon.typepad.com/nevon/2005/02/use_voip_and_go.html), where I used the Feb 12 report in La Nación, the Costa Rican newspaper, to highlight personal experiences of the continuing difficulties with SkypeOut in making calls to numbers in Costa Rica. Indeed, you referred to my post in another post you wrote not long after that. And my post was referenced in a ZDNet IP Telephony blog post (http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/index.php?p=256).

I’ve seen the story subsequently commented on in a number of blogs. What’s interesting is the slight shift in focus with each post. Like a comment between people that gets passed along, the story has changed slightly with each passing (posting). So I’m actually a bit surprised to have not yet seen a post somewhere that has a headline something like “VoIP user jailed in Costa Rica.”!

The broad point you make is wholly valid – it’s all too easy to repeat a comment you see somewhere, perhaps quoting choice bits from someone else’s post to fit a point you want to make, and which then changes the focus a bit. Others repeat that and so a story develops that has moved on from the original point. In my post, I made quite a few clarifying comments about La Nación’s report, in particular that the ICE was planning or proposing to do certain things, not that those things were definitely going to happen. That bit didn’t get carried through in most other posts that I saw.

But that’s the blogosphere for you. Fuel for those who continue saying that bloggers and journalists will always be far apart.


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always thinking—

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