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mikebrown Posted:
Hello, I think
you should consult
it with the Expert
they can surely
help you
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
Hardwiring in a Rental House
On Jun 24, 2017 at 09:15:34

Haniltery Posted:
For wipe call
history also some
of the offline, in
gengral , it
usually apply to
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
How to Delete call history from online account?
On May 09, 2017 at 06:14:26

diana87 Posted:
You have to use
VPN service to
bypass
Geo-restrictions
and get free
access while
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Recent calling problem from Egypt
On May 02, 2017 at 17:28:06

dconnor Posted:
What is the main
number on the
account? And
which one is the
virtual number?
...

In The Forum:
Vonage UK
Topic:
How do you call 999
On Apr 27, 2017 at 18:52:02

Trafford Posted:
Seems like a
simple
question. We
rely exclusively
on a Vonage system
for our
...

In The Forum:
Vonage UK
Topic:
How do you call 999
On Apr 27, 2017 at 10:42:50

diazou Posted:
Hello, It's
compatible with
Android your phone
software
? Thanks!
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
IP PBX for small business
On Mar 28, 2017 at 12:42:33

jeddaisg Posted:
Hi all We have
a Vonage VOIP
system for our
office. Lately,
our call quality
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
Ethernet Cable; Wiring schematic? 568-B?
On Feb 23, 2017 at 18:33:52

beast321 Posted:
I don't know if
you heard, that
many more
Dreamcast games
are opened up
recently.
...

In The Forum:
Fax - Tivo - Alarms
Topic:
Using phone as a dial up modem for Dreamcast Gaming
On Feb 16, 2017 at 03:16:51

Av8rix Posted:
Sorry to start a
new thread on an
old topic but when
I google “Vonage
MAC address
...

In The Forum:
Vonage
Topic:
New adapter and router -- MAC change
On Jan 11, 2017 at 01:07:21

tplink Posted:
Im trying to add
my HT802 vonage
adapter to my home
network. I
currently have
...

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
Vonage behind switch
On Dec 05, 2016 at 12:35:11


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FCC To States: Hands Off VoIP


Vonage In Print News

FCC To States: Hands Off Voip

November 9, 2004

By Charlotte Wolter

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) made it official today that voice over IP services are under federal jurisdiction only so-called federal preemption--and that states may not require Voip services to meet their existing regulations for traditional telephone services.

Specifically, the commission ruled that Vonage Inc.'s Digital Voice service "is not subject to traditional state public utility regulation." The FCC ruling further stated "other types of IP-enabled services, such as those offered by cable companies, that have basic characteristics similar to DigitalVoice, would also not be subject to traditional state public utility regulation."

The commission based its decision on its power to preempt state regulations that "thwart or impede federal authority over interstate communications." States cannot require, as the State of Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission attempted to do, for example, that Vonage or other similar services obtain a certificate to offer service in the state.

One requirement of the Minnesota certificate was that Vonage offer emergency 911 service in the same way that TDM telephone companies do, which would have been impossible.

A Narrow Decision

The vote on the ruling was 3 to 2, a margin that did not reflect the commission's resolve to protect voice over IP from unnecessary regulation. They were more reflective, observers say, of the fact that some on the FCC want the agency to go further to change telecom rules.

"The differences of opinion were based on Commissioner Copps, who wanted them to decide more issues than they did today," says Chris Murray, director of government affairs, Vonage. "There are all sorts of questions such as access charges and the Universal Service Fund. Those are the big two." However, Murray points out, the Universal Service Fund is running a deficit near $2 billion, and any revenues from voice over IP would do little to ease that crunch.

While voice over IP is not critical to the issues with the Universal Service Fund, making noise about anyone who doesn't pay into the fund is good politics for legislators from largely rural states, such as Ted Stevens (R-Ark.) and Conrad Burns (R-Mont.).

The FCC is scheduled to tackle the truly onerous issue of intercarrier compensation after the new year. Efforts within the industry to hammer out some kind of compromise so far have not been successful. And recent effort to bring the myriad concerned parties to the table to negotiate fell apart after a few weeks. There are proponents of the view that all compensation should be market based, and carriers should be able to charge whatever the market will bear, while others feel that the playing field will be more level if regulated.

States Not out of the Picture

The decision does not address the rights of the states to impose other regulation on IP voice providers, such as for "taxation, fraud, commercial dealings, marketing, advertising and other business practices." The FCC said it "expects states to continue playing a vital role in protecting consumers from fraud, responding to complaints, and enforcing fair business practices."

In his statement, FCC Chairman Michael Powell emphasized the ongoing role for the states. "There will remain very important questions about emergency services, consumer protections from waste, fraud and abuse and recovering the fair costs of the network. It is not true that states are or should be complete bystanders with regard to these issues. Indeed, there is a long tradition of federal/state partnership in addressing such issues, even with regard to interstate services.

He outlined cooperative action by the staes and federal government to halt offenses, such as "slamming and cramming," Also, "With regard to critical 911 capability for VoIP, I note already that several Internet voice providers have entered into an agreement with the National Emergency Number Association to extend 911 capabilities to Internet voice services."

The Cities Chime in

The issue of taxation immediately became an issue as two cities in California began to ask voice-over-IP service providers to pay city taxes on utilities. Many cities now charge taxes on traditional telephone services.

The City of Burbank, Calif., locale of several large television and movie studios, sent a letter to Voip business and consumer provider VoicePulse asking that company to pay the city's 7 percent tax, which would amount to $1.40 per month for a typical $20-per-month service.

Taxation by the cities could be even more onerous than the wrangles with the states. Ravi Sakaria, CEO, VoicePulse, says, "No one is opposed to taxation. The issue is how to navigate one's way through thousands of jurisdictions. This was the case for federal preemption, because there was no way we could deal with 51 different state entities. But this scarier in the number of potential entities."

Burbank Financial Services Director Derek Hanway said, "VoIP is serving as telephones, and that is why we sent the letter out. It's nothing new. They are not different from any other phone company."

Hanway says Burbank sent out as many as 500 letters to service providers, including. "all the providers that we already have, plus we got another list from our consultant." The consulting firm is MBIA Inc., which Hanway says is "a big local government consultant that does a variety of things, and we use them for that particular expertise."

Sending the letters, he says, was MBIA's idea, "but it is also in our code, and they are our consultant."

Although some voice over IP companies point out their service is more like email or data technologically. "If they go that route, they're just going to take an existing phone service, put it in a new medium providing the same service, to escape taxation and drive out other providers," Hanway says. "Why give them a competitive advantage?"

Hanway acknowledged that some voice-over-IP service providers may not know where their customers are located or where they use the service. Burbank can charge taxes based on "billing address or primary place of use," says Hanway.



 
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1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

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HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

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