TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: State's Regulatory Sights Set on Internet Phone

State's Regulatory Sights Set on Internet Phone

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Mon, 02 May 2005 12:13:46 -0400


Michigan's Public Service Commission wants to have regulatory
authority over the rapidly growing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
service that uses a broadband Internet connection to place and receive
phone calls.

The commission, meeting last week in Lansing, sent a formal request to
the Legislature to amend the state's Telecommunications Act to include
VoIP service as an area the commission can oversee.

"Michigan residents using Voice over Internet Protocol deserve
consumer protections," said commission Chairman J. Peter
Lark. "Because the Michigan Telecommunications Act is silent on Voice
over Internet Protocol service ... customers using this new technology
do not have consumer protections that telecommunication customers

Michigan is not alone in putting VoIP in its regulatory sights. But
based on the experiences of Minnesota and California, it may encounter
some stiff opposition from the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC successfully fought both states in federal courts in recent
months, essentially arguing that VoIP is an interstate service beyond
state control. Still, facing a pile of complaints from landline phone
companies that claim VoIP interlopers are getting an unfair advantage,
the FCC has since agreed to reconsider its hands-off approach and is
seeking public comments on possible VoIP regulation.

In Michigan, meanwhile, officials believe it is necessary for the
state to provide consumer safeguards over what is a largely
unregulated business.

Full story at:

How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

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