TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Vonage Complains to FCC of Calls Being Blocked

Vonage Complains to FCC of Calls Being Blocked

Lisa Minter (
15 Feb 2005 07:17:04 -0800

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vonage Holdings Corp., an Internet-based
telephone service provider, has complained to U.S. communications
regulators that some of its calls are being blocked, the company said
on Monday.

According to a source familiar with the dispute, Vonage has told
Federal Communications Commission officials that it has evidence an
Internet service provider owned by a telephone company has been
blocking its service, affecting a couple of hundred customers.

Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Schulz confirmed that some of the company's
traffic had been blocked, but declined to provide details about who
blocked its service or how many customers were affected. Internet
service providers are able to block Vonage calls by refusing data from
certain ports, similar to the methods used to control unwanted e-mail.

"We have seen an instance of port blocking that was of grave concern
to us," Schulz said. "We have sought the FCC's counsel to remedy the

Schulz said Vonage had to go through and restore each customer's
service individually, but that the fix was temporary.

An FCC official said the agency has not received a formal complaint
from Vonage.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell told a trade publication on Monday in
Colorado that the agency was "actively on this case and we are taking
it pretty seriously."

The FCC could take enforcement action against carriers if they are
found to have engaged activities that violate anti-competition laws,
said Powell, according to trade publication Advanced IP Pipeline.

Vonage's service uses high-speed Internet connections to carry
telephone calls.

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