FCC Bans VoIP Services Blocking

Via Red Herring:


While much of the reaction to Friday�s U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruling has been focused on ISPs, a policy statement issued as part of the commission�s deregulation of DSL services could add much-needed legal protection for VoIP carriers such as Vonage and Skype.

The FCC issued a statement that it does not want the newly freed DSL providers and cable operators to use their total control of their networks to interfere with the access rights of direct competitors such as VoIP providers.

A policy statement does not have the legal teeth of a rule, but it does put telecommunications carriers and cable operators on notice that there are still aspects of broadband services delivery in which the FCC reserves the right to meddle.

"We need a watchful eye to ensure that network providers do not become Internet gatekeepers, with the ability to dictate who can use the Internet and for what purpose," said Michael J. Copps, one of two democrats on the FCC panel. "Consumers do not want to be told that they cannot use their DSL line for VoIP, for streaming video, to access a particular news web site, or to play on a particular company�s game machine."



- ferg