Monday, November 15, 2004


Michael Powell seems to be the right person to lead the FCC during these times. Old news but good news... from FierceWireless:

FCC to keep VoIP free from state, local regulations

The FCC today moved to shield VoIP service providers from many state and local regulations. The commission voted 5-0 in favor of VoIP service provider Vonage, which asked the agency to declare the company's product an interstate service. The decision gives the FCC regulatory responsibility over most aspects of IP telephony. The FCC's move is expected to bring stability to the IP telephony market by eliminating a fast-growing string of state and municipal rules and taxes. The ruling, however, doesn't affect access charges, the fees VoIP providers pay to local phone companies for completing calls sent via the Internet to the traditional PSTN phone system.

Today's decision could trigger a boom in the fast-emerging field of wireless VoIP. Assuming the FCC continues its minimalist regulatory positions towards WiMax and WiFi, a number of services providers will likely launch wireless and mobile VoIP services. Vonage is already targeting its service at the WiFi hotspot market. The company recently inked a deal with hotspot service provider Boingo Wireless, bundling its SoftPhone with Boingo's hotspot access client. Cellular carriers might also jump on the VoIP bandwagon. These companies could easily add wireless VoIP capabilities to their cell phones. Companies like SBC could launch hybrid phones that could access wireless VoIP in the carrier's hotspots while converting over to cell access through its carrier Cingular when a user roams outside of a WLAN.

MORE from Wi-Fi Networking News:

FCC’s Plan for Internet Voice May Aid Cell/Wi-Fi Hybrid

By Glenn Fleishman

The Wall Street Journal notes that easier regulation and a lower tax burden might contribute to VoIP as a cellular complement: A new phone from Motorola might be one of the first to hit the U.S. market in which voice calls could travel over home Wi-Fi, hotspot Wi-Fi, and GSM cell networks. Reporter Jesse Drucker writes that the Yankee Group estimates one-third of people’s cell calls would be within range of some Wi-Fi service. Offloading minutes via Wi-Fi could be appealing to consumers if the cell companies don’t count those as in-plan minutes. It allows carriers to be more “generous,” reducing customer churn, and it avoids filling expensive cell spectrum with more calls. (full post)

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