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Speak Up On FCC VoIP Regulation 127

Posted by timothy
from the appropriate-circumlocution dept.
jeffpulver writes "Speak now or forever hold your peace. The FCC will decide whether or not to regulate Internet Telephony in the U.S. over the next several months. On February 5th I filed a petition with the FCC on behalf of Free World Dialup, asking for a Declaratory Ruling that states that Broadband Internet Telephony which doesn't touch the public switched telephone network (PSTN) should not be ruled as either "Telecommunications" or as a "Telecommunications Service" as defined by the Telecom Act of 1996. On February 14th the FCC put the pulver.com petition out for public comment. The public has until March 14th to respond." This is an important issue -- read on below for some more information on the background and significance of the present petition.
A copy of the original petition is posted here. [1.5 MB pdf file]

Back in March, 1996 the ACTA Petition was filed which in effect asked for the internet telephony software companies selling to consumers to be treated to the same regulations as phone companies. While the FCC never ruled on ACTA, the petition started to raise questions about the future regulation of Internet Telephony in the United States and around the world. Some countries were quick to ban internet telephony based on the out of control hype that existed back in the Spring of 1996 while many other countries took a "wait and see" approach.

The pulver.com Petition is in many ways the exact opposite of the ACTA petition insomuch what I was asking for is that end-to-end Internet Telephony over Broadband remain unregulated. After seven years of waiting, now that VoIP technologies have gone mainstream and now that consumers are once again using these technologies and now that these technologies work quite well, I wanted to remove the cloud of regulatory uncertainty when it came to VoIP and broadband Internet Telephony. My hope is that "we" as a community can encourage the FCC for fast action on the FWD petition as a way for the FCC to help encourage investment. Once the regulatory uncertainty is removed, I strongly believe investors will once again look at the VoIP industry as the hot space to invest in and encourage innovation in.

Please take advantage of the pulver.com Petition and share your comments with the FCC. Click here for details on how to reply to the petition.Please reply by March 14th."

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Speak Up On FCC VoIP Regulation

Comments Filter:
  • Vonage (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2003 @07:27PM (#5310712)
    I hope that this doesn't affect my Vonage. It was nice being able to tell qwest to kiss my ass, it would really suck to have to crawl back.

    I get local, long distance, voice mail, caller ID and a ton of other features for 25.99 a month
  • Hrm (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spazntwich (208070) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @07:27PM (#5310714)
    This issue has some interesting implications. On one hand, I want to say VoIP shouldn't be regulated, as the FCC really should have no say in the internet, but were that to happen, telemarketers might find some interesting and obscure loophole allowing them to call us relentlessly, all because they'd be using VoIP phones routed through some system allowing them to contact non-VoIP phones (ala the past internet-phone company startups).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:25PM (#5311597)
    FILING VIA THE WORLD WIDE WEB

    "This process contains three phases: (1) Completing a cover sheet, and (2) Attaching documents or submitting typed comments, and (3) Receiving a Confirmation." (from ECFS user manual [fcc.gov])

    Upload expert [fcc.gov], submitting an attached MS Word 6.0 and higher, MS Excel 4.0 and higher, Word Perfect 5.1 and higher, ASCII Text, and Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF), as specified in the ECFS user manual [fcc.gov]. Or (maybe?) do a quick [fcc.gov] file submission under "Broadband over the traditional telephone." (I'm not sure if this files under the proper proceeding, as it provides minimal information so you may want to use expert.)

    File using expert [fcc.gov]

    1. Proceeding: 03-45
    2. Fill in relevant information (pers info)
    3. Document type: Comment
    4. Attach document or just type in a quick comment

    Now instead of ranting here on the issue. Make your statements on the issue available to people other then techies, law types and such. Not that I'm saying law types don't come here, or techies don't understand ... err ... shut up ... right. The rest of this comment is thrown in for reference.

    Home Site ECFS (Electronic Comment Filing System)
    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/

    Documentation in regards to proper response filings in response to the petition [pulver.com] posted by pulvar.com":
    http://pulver.com/fwd/fccfwd.html [pulver.com]
    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/ DA-03-439A1.pdf [fcc.gov]

    The CFRs referenced from time to time are Code of Federal Regulations [gpo.gov]. On the site referenced, you should come to see quickly there are different titles corresponding to various sectors of industry, Title 47 [gpo.gov] referencing Telecommuniation.

    USC stands for United States Code [house.gov]. You can search [house.gov] this database or download each to view structurally [house.gov].

    I have just discovered all this information out in the past 15 minutes via Google and the www.fcc.gov site and www.pulvar.com. I can't give you a cut clear definition of the difference of U.S.C. and C.F.R., however there is an about page that clearly defines this on each respective home site.

    In other words, I'll leave my post and allow the higher states of entropical discussion to follow ;)

    P.S.I'm not really a coward, just an ignorant fool who forgot his password/email. Ohhly well. That also means to imply I am not affliated with anybody pertaining to the topic of discussion.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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