TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: FCC Reaches Telco Settlement to Stop Blocking VOIP

Re: FCC Reaches Telco Settlement to Stop Blocking VOIP

Isaiah Beard (
Sun, 06 Mar 2005 09:11:19 -0500 wrote:

> Danny Burstein wrote:

>> "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.

> I don't understand.

> Why couldn't the consumers simply switch to another ISP? Why did the
> FCC have to intervene?

You seem to think that everyone has a choice when it comes to
broadband. Unfortunately, most do not. DSL does not reach every
household, and cable companies do not always offer the quality of
service thaat one would expect in a broadband connection, if the cable
company even feels it is cost effective to provide such a service in
a particular area.

And even in areas where both "last miles" are served, I still wouldn't
call that a variety.

> Why does VOIP have to get special govt protection not normally offered
> to other products and services in the free marketplace?

It is not getting special government protection. On the other hand,
the duopolies are getting special government regulation, because they
have demonstrated in the past (and are demonstrating again) that they
fully intend to prevent other players from offering services.

> In other words, if my local store doesn't carry a particular product
> I want, the govt won't come in and order that store to carry said
> product.

No, because that store doesn't have an exclusive right-of-way or
franchise agreement with the municipality. Cable and phone companies
however, do have such agreements in place, and thus they are often the
only two providers (again, assuming both serve your area) that can
physically offer the service.

If Krogers, Costco, Food Lion, Path Mark, Wal-Mart or what-have-you,
however, secured an exclusive agreement to be the ONLY store in your
town, and they would ONLY carry certain brands of milk, you can bet
that some sort of regulatory body would want to intervene.

> Now if it was a regulated local telephone company that failed to pass
> on calls I would understand since they have certain obligations being
> a common carrier. But I don't believe ISPs have any common carrier
> obligations nor privileges

Well sir, you believe wrong. :) A dialup ISP may not have such
exclusive agreements, but then dial up and VoIP are often mutually
exclusive. Vonage isn't really happy unless it's running over
broadband, and for now, braodband choices are still quite limited.

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Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.

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