TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: It's Degrading: VoIP Firms Urge More FCC Action

It's Degrading: VoIP Firms Urge More FCC Action

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Fri, 04 Mar 2005 23:09:22 -0500

It's Degrading: VoIP Firms Urge More FCC Action

By Roy Mark

Internet telephony firms praised Thursday's action by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to fine a small telecom for blocking
Voice over Internet Protocol (define) traffic, but said problems of
keeping broadband networks open to all IP applications remain.

Over the last six months, both consumer VoIP provider Vonage and
wholesaler Nuvio complained to the FCC about both telecom and cable
broadband providers either blocking or degrading VoIP calls. In some
cases, the providers offer their own VoIP service and in Vonage's and
Nuvio's opinion are discriminating against unaffiliated VoIP

Thursday, Madison River Communications of Mebane, N.C., which owns and
operates four rural telephone companies in Georgia, Alabama, North
Carolina and Illinois, admitted no guilt in port blocking complaints
brought by Vonage, but agreed to a $15, 000 fine and promised to drop
the practice.

Chris Murray, Vonage's director of government affairs, said in Madison
River's case, one of the company's subsidiaries was blocking VoIP
calls to and from a customer who chose to get VoIP service instead of
leasing a second, hard-wired telephone line.

"They gave no notice [to the customer]. [His Vonage service] had been
working and one day he woke up and it didn't work," Murray said.

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