October 20, 2004

The New York Times > AP > Technology > FCC to Seek Internet - Based Phone Oversight

"Powell, who reiterated his belief in minimal regulation of VoIP services, said questions of its taxation and connectivity to 911 emergency assistance are best left to the federal government because the technology erodes geographic barriers."

Another quote from Powell's speech:

It’s wrong, just plain wrong to not recognize the potential of VoIP, or to see it through the lens of the old telephone network regulatory model. VoIP is a data application and as such has all the hallmarks of the Internet itself.
Like the Internet, the change is cosmic; it obliterates the importance of time and distance. There is no need to organize the regulatory regime around per minute prices and costs as we have done with common carriers. VoIP service is offered in flat bundles, recognizing the efficiency and small incremental costs of information services. We have seen the great advantages of cell phone buckets of minutes and what that did to increasingly erase the idea of long distance as a distinct service. VoIP will complete the circle and collapse any such geographic distinctions in all voice service."

Powell is right to propose only Federal regulation for VoIP. A patchwork of state regulation would be a wet blanket on the VoIP upheaval now underway. His full speech is here and below and well worth a read. It's only 5 pages:


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