TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: MPSC Asks Michigan Legislature to Amend Telecom Act

MPSC Asks Michigan Legislature to Amend Telecom Act

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld_on_request)
Fri, 29 Apr 2005 13:37:39 -0400,1607,7-159-16400_17280-116720--,00.html

MPSC Asks Michigan Legislature to Amend the Michigan
Telecommunications Act to Add Voice over Internet Protocol Consumer
Protection Measures

Contact: Judy Palnau (517) 241-3323
April 28, 2005

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today issued an order
asking the Michigan legislature to amend the Michigan
Telecommunications Act to authorize it to address concerns raised
about Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service. VOIP is a
developing technology that may be used to transmit voice conversations
over the Internet. It is the subject of ongoing debates among state
and federal regulators, legislators and the telecommunications

"Michigan residents using Voice over Internet Protocol deserve
consumer protections," said MPSC Chairman J. Peter Lark.
"Because the Michigan Telecommunications Act is silent on Voice
over Internet Protocol service using the public switched telephone
network, customers using this new technology do not have consumer
protections that telecommunication customers have. As has already
been demonstrated in Michigan and elsewhere, lack of 9-1-1 access
using VOIP service is a serious concern. We are asking the Michigan
legislature to amend the MTA and put safeguards in place for VOIP

The MPSC on March 16, 2004 started an investigation of VOIP in
Michigan, asking for comments on VOIP issues in Michigan. The
Commission received comments from 38 organizations and individuals.
Comments included identification of known VOIP providers serving
Michigan customers; the proper degree of regulation; telephone
numbering resources; emergency calling; universal service fund; access
charge structures; abbreviated and toll-free dialing; quality of
service; and various technical issues.

Today's MPSC order asks the Michigan legislature to authorize it to
assess the effect of VOIP service over the public switched telephone
network on Michigan citizens, to adopt non-intrusive registration and
certification mechanisms by which customer complaints regarding voice
communication services may be forwarded to the appropriate companies,
and to ensure that all citizens of the state have the benefit of
enhanced 9-1-1 services.

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Labor & Economic

Case No. U-14073

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