Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Vonage, FCC

U.S. regulators ruled Tuesday that providers of Internet-based phone call services fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government and cannot be regulated by states.

Vonage has been battling public utilities officials in Minnesota who want the company to register in the state as a telecommunications service, subjecting it to rate regulation and other state rules.

This seems good news for Vonage, who will have one regulator to deal with, rather than 51. As long as Vonage keeps being good for their customers, (and I’m a happy customer) this is a fine thing. It does make it harder for customers to pressure Vonage through their local public utilities commissions, but Vonage isn’t a monopoly. When they start stinking, someone else will come along and do better.

(From Vonage Press. Now we hope that Vonage does a better job with their service than their web design. Really. Black on dark blue?)

4 comments on "Vonage, FCC"

  • sama says:

    What do you suppose it means for Skype?

  • adam says:

    Great question!
    I really don’t know. How deregulatory is the FCC? They claim jurisdiction over Vonage, but they fine folks for showing Janet Jackson’s breast on TV. I can’t read tea leaves well enough to answer.

  • Pete says:

    Curious: why did you decide a VoIP solution was right for you? Are there cost or other benefits? I am thinking about it, but can’t really come up with a compelling reason to move from regular service…

  • adam says:

    There’s a real cost benefit. I pay $27 a month for unlimited LD calling in North America, including Canada. Via my other (cell) phone, that was running 50-150 a month on top of service. Also, given that my phone use isn’t really constant, it was hard to be on the right cell plan.

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