TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem

Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem
28 Mar 2005 10:38:28 -0800

Tony P. wrote:

> 'The Bells say they want to fix the problem but that the integration
> with the Internet is technically complex. They flatly deny dragging
> their feet. "Safety and security have to be the primary concern," says
> Verizon's vice president of regulatory affairs.'

I am not a technical expert, but I do agree that security is a much
more serious issue today than in years past.

The fact is we have hackers and saboteurs (virus writers) out for
harm. They spend hours of time trying to penetrate networks, to gain
any foothold they can and worm their way as far inside as they can.
This isn't anything new, but the potential for damage has increased as
society is more dependent than ever on open networks that are

To give one example, there was an Internet scam that secretly had a
user's modem turn off sound and dial very expensive foreign countries
to generate huge phone receipts. We don't want VOIP to be used for

> This whole thing reeks of anti-competive behavior on the part of the
> incumbent carriers. ... and that the technical issues are only
> monopoly games.

I have strong doubts whether this charge is true.

During the 1970s I heard this charge filed many times against the old
Bell System about competing long distance service and customer owned
equipment. But at the same time, I also saw many situations where the
competing long distance failed or the customer equipment failed and
the Bell System got the blame or was expected to somehow make it
right. I saw many naive computer users get angry at Bell for refusing
to fix their broken terminal because it was a non-Bell modem on it --
people certainly should not have expected Bell to fix someone else's
product! Yet they did. Likewise when MCI failed to complete a call
(as it did often) Bell got wrongly blamed. After divesture many
people bought cheapo phones that broke easily and had lousy sound
quality, making communiation impossible. (I finally told some friends
I wouldn't talk to them over their cheapo phone and they agreed).

Anyway, today the cable companies lay their own fibre cable and has
their own broadband infrastructure fully independent of Bell. They
offer phone service. So today there is no need to hook up with the
old Bell company at all.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And something else I thought was a
pretty bad abuse was MCI and Sprint getting companies to sign up on
*their* networks and then the companies would encourage people to use
MCI/Sprint, ... "but for directory assistance, just use Bell and dial
555-1212 since it is 'free'; Sprint/MCI will charge us for their
network." so people were to get free directory from Bell but use the
cheaper carriers to place the actual calls. And people wonder why Bell
started charging for calls to D.A. ! PAT]

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