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VoIP Feature Article


Michelle Pasquerello

[November 9, 2004]

Sound-Off for the VoIP Ruling

By Michelle Pasquerello

VoIP companies are stepping up and sounding-off with the latest news on the FCCs ruling regarding VoIP regulation. The hottest topic today is that VoIP has been declared an interstate service, lessening the burden of regulatory compliance which could impede the ever-prominent technology.

Covad Communications responded to the FCC's ruling that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services that are similar to that provided by Vonage Holdings Corp. are not subject to traditional state public utility regulation.

According to James Kirkland, senior Vice President of Covad Communications, The FCC is clearly building a national regulatory framework for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

"This promises to minimize the regulation that will face companies like Covad Communications who are driving the growth of this industry-changing technology.

"VoIP is the key to true, facilities-based voice competition. VoIP marries the computer to the telephone, offering users a range of features that simply don't exist in the old phone networks.

"Facilities-based VoIP, like that provided by Covad, provides the critical missing ingredient needed to realize the vision of the 1996 Act -- robust competition based upon limited unbundling of ILEC local facilities, with competitive services differentiated on price, quality, features and functionality."

VoicePulse, a New Jersey-based provider that uses its VoIP network to deliver advanced features to residential and small-business consumers responded positively to the ruling.

We're pleased that the FCC recognizes the potential of VoIP and welcome their continued support in bringing services like VoicePulse to the consumer," said Ravi Sakaria, VoicePulse's President & CEO. "The ruling is an important first step towards defining a new framework to support and encourage the growth of the industry while benefiting and protecting the consumer."

Richard C. Notebaert, chairman and CEO of Qwest Communications states "Qwest is pleased that the FCC made the right call today in determining that true VoIP -- a communication that originates in the Internet protocol over a broadband facility -- is an interstate service not subject to oversight by state commissions. The significance of this ruling extends to those carriers that offer true VoIP services such as Qwest.

"This pro-consumer ruling will ensure the most efficient deployment of this revolutionary new technology. Through today's decision the FCC has recognized that the face of telecommunications is changing. We're pleased the FCC has taken a progressive view of this service, and hope regulators would apply the same light touch to outdated regulations governing traditional telephone service."

The FCC ruling has opened many doors, offering the increased opportunity of VoIP usage.


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