When I first wrote about Nuvio Corporation, the company made public a plea letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the agency to address and combat potential discriminatory practices by broadband Internet access providers and preserve competition in the Voice over IP (VoIP) market. Nuvio claimed that broadband Internet access providers, who also offer VoIP services, have economic incentives to discriminate against unaffiliated VoIP providers in favor of affiliated providers. Today, the company reappears by having its CEO testify in opposition to Kansas State Legislature’s attempt to tax VoIP providers for 911.
Jason Talley, Nuvio’s president and CEO testified today in opposition to proposed taxation of VoIP providers for 911 service by the State Legislature of Kansas. Apparently disregarding the FCC’s November 9, 2004 decision to declare VoIP-based services interstate—exempting them from most taxes and regulations at state-level, Kansas proposed in House Bill No. 2050 to require VoIP service providers to contribute to the Kansas Universal Service Fund (KUSF).
The VoIP-based service provider believes that in addition to being contrary to the FCC ruling, that requirements for traditional 911 service are technologically impossible for VoIP. Nuvio sees significant barriers to service implementation including call origination traceability and access to public safety answering points (PSAP).
Talley's testimony addressed the FCC ruling as well as the impact that taxation could have on emerging technologies in Kansas by stating: "Kansas' attempt to tax VoIP for 911 completely ignores what the FCC has done and is continuing to do in its analysis and rulemaking concerning VoIP," commented Nuvio’s president and CEO. "In the FCC's preemption of the Minnesota Vonage Order, the FCC clearly indicates that 911 requirements and capabilities will be addressed by the FCC in its pending IP-Enabled Services Proceeding. The FCC has already exerted federal jurisdiction over this matter,” he added.
Talley’s persuasive opposition was perceptible: "Make no mistake about it this bill is the opening salvo in legislation to stifle and eliminate a technology that is bringing choice and features to customers in order to easily fulfill funding shortfalls from other programs. This is tantamount to taxing email to support the U.S. Postal System,” he stated.
I will definitely keep you posted on this issue as more information becomes available.
|Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was
assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She
can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.