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German Unit to Block VoIP Applications
[July 14, 2005]

German Unit to Block VoIP Applications

Vodafones German unit has made plans to disable calls from VoIP operators such as Skype.

Editorial Director, Internet Telephony Magazine

Seems that VoIP is scaring the scheize out of some folks. According to a published report ( ) this morning, Vodafones German unit has made plans to disable calls from VoIP operators such as Skype ( ) and others beginning in July 2007.

The article quotes Vodafone ( ) Germany spokesman Heiko Witzke, who said that in the interim the company may yet reverse its policy. Witzke wouldn't comment about why the company was taking the step, but said that "2007 is a long ways to go; anything may happen until then."

Hmm Established, legacy carriers, fearful of losing market share to VoIP, doing underhanded things That cant happen here, right? Well we all remember the situation ( ) early last spring with Madison River Communications, and how the FCC ( ) slapped them with a fine no time wasted, no questions asked for blocking Vonage ( ) VoIP ports. It seemed at the time that we had little to worry about from network providers blocking the use of our chosen VoIP providers.

Alas, the recent Brand X decision by the US Supreme Court appears to throw the door wide open to port blocking on a large scale. While Tom Keating disagrees ( ), saying how its not in the best interest of the individual network providers to block others VoIP ports, its still entirely within the realm of possibility. And leaving it on the shoulders of the providers to do the right thing has never been something I put too much stock in.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Of course not.

But is it fair to say its starting when the Germans block VoIP? Stay tuned. Im sure this story has a long way to go.


Greg Galitzine is editorial director for Internet Telephony Magazine. To see more articles by Greg Galitzine, please visit:

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