TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Vonage's Citron Says VoIP Blocking Is 'Censorship'

Re: Vonage's Citron Says VoIP Blocking Is 'Censorship'

DevilsPGD (
Sun, 06 Mar 2005 22:40:00 -0700

In message <> (Dr. Joel
M. Hoffman) wrote:

>> Yes Pat, but it didn't do it on the basis of the 1st Amendment. As I
>> understand it, the fine was to preserve "Net Freedom" (Powell's term)
>> and although I like it, I still don't understand the legal basis for
>> this action. It seems to me the Telco's ought to be concerned about
>> this because if there is now a "must carry" rule for VoIP traffic, what
>> happens when they start to offer TV/video? Will they be forced to allow

> In the end, the only reason VoIP is so cheap is that it passes the
> costs off to other sectors.

Not exactly.

The difference isn't that VoIP is "passing the cost", but rather, that
with VoIP, the customer is providing the connection from their
premises to the telco.

Back in my ISP days, the ISP I worked for provided DSL over dry copper
pairs. We were selling 2.5Mb/1Mb and later 7Mb/1.5Mb before either
the telco or cableco were offering any soft of connectivity.

We gave customers a choice: Either provide your own copper pair from
your location to the nearest CO, or pay us more and we'll cover the
loop costs (As well as handle the installation and whatnot)

VoIP is similar. You can either pay a telco to bring the service to
your door, or you can pay a cheaper rate if you provide the last mile

VoIP is virtually always more expensive then traditional telco
services if you include the cost of the internet connection. However,
since I already have an internet connection, I don't include the cost
of my internet connection in the cost of VoIP service.

In message <> Dana <>

>> I would think of it more this way: let's say that
>> your phone company provider, be it Verizon or other LEC, decided
>> that profanity should no longer be used on its phone lines, and
>> installs special filters to capture and "bleep out" such speech.
>> Would that be acceptable?

> This is a strawman argument, as this is in no way compariable to the
> situation with Vonage.

How about if Verizon (or other LEC) decided to censor conversations
about other telcos?

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Actually, back in the 'teens and '20s
> of the last century, Bell had a rule against using profanity on the
> telephone. For example, the cover of the 1920 Chicago Telephone
> Company (predecessor to Illinois Bell) had this notice on the cover of
> the phone directory: "When addressing our operators, please do not use
> profanity. Please address our operators in the same courteous voice
> you would want them to use in their reponses to you. It is not our
> operator's fault if the line you have requested is engaged or does not
> respond. Would you like it if the operator responded with a curse when
> telling you the number did not respond." Apparently people would ask
> for the number of the train station information line (for example),
> and find it always in use or slow to respond. So people would curse
> out the operator and blame her for it, then slam down the reciever.

While likely true, this is completely different -- They were
requesting that customers not swear AT the company, rather then
limiting the content that they would carry.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: You mentioned that VOIP was 'less
expensive' because the end user paid for the transport instead of
(for example) telco. This is true, but the end user is paying for
the connection anyway; what added expense does anyone have as a
result of VOIP in that case, other than buying the adapter? PAT]

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