Friday, March 02, 2007

Rural LEC's Have to Terminate VoIP

TechDirt has the dirt on FCC telling Rural ILEC's that despite VoIP being an information service, we will traet it like a communication service.

The local telcos' argument was that the FCC hasn't treated VoIP like a telecom service, so they weren't required to treat it like one and connect the calls, which were being routed through wholesale providers like Verizon, and local regulators had backed them up. But despite the FCC's general treatment of VoIP as an ugly duckling, it ruled this week that the rural telcos must connect the calls and allow VoIP providers access to local phone numbers, so they can offer them to their subscribers. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, in a statement about the ruling (PDF alert), says that the Commission "must promote competition ... and create a level playing field"

Just be done with it and call VoIP telecom. Missouri has already (by requiring VoIP Providers to get a CLEC license) and by collecting USF on VoIP the FCC has.

here's Martin's statement:

The Commission must promote competition in every sector it oversees and create a level playing field among service providers. We recently acted to increase competition and give consumers more choice among providers of television programming. Similarly, today, we help ensure that there is meaningful competition in local telephone service. Our decision will enhance consumers' choice for phone service by making clear that cable and other VoIP providers must be able to use local phone numbers and be allowed to put calls through to other phone networks. By increasing competition in the telephone sector, this action encourages the deployment of broadband facilities and ensures that consumers in all areas of the country reap the benefits of competition in the form of lower prices, innovative services and more choice.

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