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Johanne Torres[July 12, 2004]

VoIP Game Rules to Follow

BY JOHANNE TORRES


As new platforms of telecommunications come into play competing with services like legacy telephone, many see the need for regulation. Voice over IP (VoIP) (define - news - alert) telephony is the newest un-regulated technology in question, and now, at court in the state of New York.  

Boosting up Minnesota District Judge Davis' October 2003�s attempt to regulate VoIP services provided by Vonage, Magistrate Judge Douglas F. Eaton, United States District Court (Southern District of New York) this month, voiced his intention to enjoin the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) from regulating Vonage (news- alert) as a telecommunications carrier.  The preliminary injunction will preclude the State of New York from asserting its jurisdiction over Vonage.

 "We are satisfied with the court's decision and believe this is a positive step forward for New Yorkers and the industry," said Jeffrey A. Citron, chairman and CEO of Vonage Holdings Corporation. "Vonage remains eager and committed to working with the states, Congress and the FCC to create a national framework for this emerging industry."

Chairman Powell's clear leadership on this issue was instrumental in this recent decision - the court recognized the ongoing work of the IP-enabled NPRM and workshops furthering the national policy development. Vonage plans to continue to participate in the ongoing dialogue with the FCC and the states, which brings clarity to the policies for VoIP services.

William Wilhelm, Esq., ecommerce & telecommunications, for Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman agrees, the decision �will have a positive outcome, since it started to be resolved at a national level.� The government would see these companies �having to comply with rules just as the telephone companies, forcing providers to out short. I see this decision as a favorable one for the VoIP industry, and I see this issue being resolved in approximately several months, at least before the year end.�

Johanne Torres is the Assistant Editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the Assistant Editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

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