[Cu-wireless] VoIP:

Sascha Meinrath sascha at ucimc.org
Sun Feb 8 18:38:26 CST 2004

Hi All,

Thought you'd be interested in this:


STEVENS: MAKE PAYMENTS "UNIVERSAL Alaska's senior senator, Ted Stevens
(R), is likely the next chairman of the Commerce Committee. As such, he's
already letting it be known that he's interested in rewriting the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Coming from a rural state, he's concerned
that universal service funds will dry up as phone services move from the
traditional, circuit-switched networks to the Internet. So Sen Stevens
would like to see broadband Internet providers pay into the Universal
Service Fund. Such a change would be a contrast to the FCC's approach to
Internet services which have remained unregulated. Sen Stevens delivered
his proposal to large telephone companies in a speech in Washington, DC
last week. Those companies are likely to embrace the idea while cable
companies will likely oppose it. [SOURCE: Multichannel News, AUTHOR: Ted
(requires subscription)

Responsibilities and Rights: A Regulatory Model for Facilities-Based VoIP
Competition" to the FCC, outlining the industry's thoughts on how state
and federal regulators should regulate the new service. The industry group
writes that even the most vital public policy objectives should be secured
through the "lightest possible regulation" of VoIP services. The NCTA
white paper proposes a four-prong baseline test to determine whether a
particular IP-based voice service should be subject to the regulatory
framework proposal. If a service meets the qualifications, NCTA writes,
then providers should be given responsibilities including assistance to
law enforcement and public health, offering of 911/E911 services, and
access for the disabled; contributions as appropriate to the Universal
Service Fund (USF); participation in intercarrier compensation; and
general consumer protections. [SOURCE: National Cable & Telecommunications
Association Press Release]
(http://www.ncta.com/press/press.cfm?PRid=435&showArticles=ok) In a
related story, Alliance for Public Technology, Alliance for Technology
Access, American Association of Law Libraries, American Association of
People with Disabilities, Communications Workers of America, Community
Action Partnership, Department of Professional Employees, Independent
Living Network, MAAC Project, National Consumers League, National Hispanic
Council on Aging, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Telecom Research &
Action Center have signed a letter to House Telecom Subcommittee Chairman
Upton (R-MI) asking that VoIP providers be subject to rules concerning
universal service, accessibility, public safety and consumer protections.
Rep Upton will oversee a hearing on VoIP tomorrow. See
(http://energycommerce.house.gov/schedule.html) [SOURCE: Communications

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