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

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

Dana (
Sun, 06 Mar 2005 22:32:31 -0900

DevilsPGD wrote:

> 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
> yourself.

> 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 <>
> wrote:

>>> 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?

Same thing we are not talking about the content of the message, but
how the message gets from one point to another. What the carriers and
ISP's are saying about VOIP from providers like Vonage, is that their
broadband subscribers (carriers and isp's) are using Vonage for long
distance, and the carriers and ISP's cannot compete at the prices that
Vonage is offering because of the fact that Vonage does not have to
pay the same fees as the carriers and ISP's are paying.

This same argument raised it's ugly head when phone calling over the
internet first started when it sounded very bad. My father got one of
those types, and used to love calling from Florida to New York via AOL
bypassing phone company long distance charges. If companies like
Vonage are ot going to be held to the same fees that long distance
carriers have to pay, watch for many legal fights in the future. It
will not be long when consumers without broadband access start to
complain about their long distance costs, when consumers with a
broadband access and a Vonage account are pretty much getting long
distance for free. But then I look at my deal with GCI cable for
internet access allows me so many free minutes of plain old telephone
long distance service pretty cheap. I just see a lot of legal fights
coming up over the internet and it's applications such as phone and
video capabilities.

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