TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Internet Pioneer: VoIP is NOT Telephony

Re: Internet Pioneer: VoIP is NOT Telephony
Sat, 16 Apr 2005 01:55:20 -0700

Jack Decker wrote:


> 4/15/2005
> Internet pioneer: VoIP is NOT telephony
> -Posted by Russell Shaw @ 2:32 am

> My colleague Renai LeMay at ZDNet Australia has just had the
> professional privilege of hearing remarks by one of the technology
> world's smartest men.

> Vint Cerf. The Vint Cerf that developed the TCP/IP protocol that makes
> the Internet work. And more than 30 years after that singular (hey, I
> just realized how Cingular got its name) feat of innovation, there
> Cerf was yesterday, addressing an Internet governance forum in Sydney.

> Vint Cerf does not want VoIP to be regulated. His fear, though -- one
> that I share, is because VoIP "looks like telephony," regulatory
> bodies all over the world will knee-jerk assume that it needs to be
> governed.

> "My concern here is the fact that VoIP looks like, and sounds like
> telephony," Cerf told the group. "This is horribly misleading. To leap
> to that conclusion is extremely dangerous. VoIP is really just another
> application on the Internet. Nothing special about it."

Interestingly, the California PUC decided to abandon its attempts to
regulate VoIP and voted to endorse whatever oversight the FCC chooses
to exercise in this arena.

Having said that, my view is that Cerf is correct only until a VoIP
provider connects with the switched public telephone network, at which
time it becomes telephony. Only where two VoIP users connect directly
over the Internet is it not telephony. And, in that case they should
not have 10-digit telephony numbers assigned under the North American
Dialing Plan for the switched public telephone network.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: How would you then deal with 'phone
patches', the little devices which allow VHF/UHF radios to link into
the public phone network? Should they also be subject to the rules
of the public switched telephone network? PAT]

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