Sunday, May 16, 2021

VoIP Still on FCC’s Open Road

A federal appeals court has upheld a 2004 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling that Voice over IP services are interstate in nature and not subject to state public utility regulation. The ruling gives the FCC the responsibility and obligation to decide which regulations apply to Internet telephony.

The ruling is a significant victory for Vonage and other VoIP providers, which have been fending off state efforts to regulate their services. While the FCC’s order pre-empted those efforts, numerous states have challenged the ruling.

“The end-to-end geographic locations of traditional landline-to-landline telephone communications are readily known, so it is easy to determine whether a particular phone call is intrastate or interstate in nature,” the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. “Conversely, VoIP-to-VoIP communications originate and terminate at IP addresses which exist in cyberspace, but are tied to no identifiable geographic location.”

Similarly, the court ruled, in VoIP-to-landline or landline-to-VoIP calls, the geographic location of the landline part of the call can be determined, but the geographic location of the VoIP part of the call could be anywhere in the universe.

The court did not rule on the status of fixed VoIP services offered by cable companies, claiming it was not yet “ripe for review.”

“[The decision] allows Vonage to continue growing our business unfettered by outdated pre-Internet regulatory structures,” Vonage CEO Mike Snyder said in a statement.

The case stems from a 2003 Minnesota Public Utility Commission decision that Vonage’s service was a traditional telephone service and subject to state rules, regulations and tariffs. Vonage won an appeal before the Eighth Circuit, which stayed any state actions until the 2004 FCC order was appealed.

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.

Similar articles

Latest Articles

How IBM has Changed...

Think is IBM’s big annual conference, and again this year, it was digital. I’m noticing a sharp quality difference in shows like this where...

Database-Tuning Platform Launches and...

PITTSBURGH — A team out of Carnegie Mellon University is launching its automatic database-tuning product today with the help of $2.5 million in funding.   OtterTune,...

Top 10 Professional Services...

Professional services automation (PSA) software aims to offer service-based companies most of the software they will need to run their businesses in one package....

What is Data Aggregation?

Data aggregation is the process where raw data is gathered and presented in a summarized format for statistical analysis. The data may be gathered...