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Vonage Holdings Corp. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results

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Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review
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Salt Lake City: impressions after several months




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FCC Slaps Fine On Blocker Of Vonage VoIP


Vonage In Print News

FCC Slaps Fine On VoIP-Blocking Telecom

March 3, 2005

By Roy Mark

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today fined a North Carolina telecom holding company $15,000 for blocking Voice over IP (define) calls to their customers.

In addition to the fine, Madison River Communications of Mebane, N.C., agreed to refrain from blocking Voip traffic and to put measures into place to ensure that such blocking won't happen again.

"We saw a problem, and we acted swiftly to ensure that Internet voice service remains a viable option for consumers," outgoing FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell said in a statement. "The industry must adhere to certain consumer protection norms if the Internet is to remain an open platform for innovation."

The FCC action came after Voip providers Vonage and Nuvio complained to the agency broadband providers are blocking or degrading their Internet telephony services. In public comments, neither Vonage nor Nuvio named the providers blocking their traffic.

Madison River was founded in 1996 to acquire local telephone companies in small markets. The firm owns operates four rural telephone companies in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Illinois. Executives did not return calls at press time for comment on the fine.

In a September 13 letter to the FCC, Kansas City Voip wholesaler Nuvio argued that broadband providers have an economic incentive to discriminate against unaffiliated Voip providers since the providers have the ability top control the quality of Voip calls.

"This raises the possibility that a broadband provider that also offers Voip service may discriminate against unaffiliated Voip providers in order to increase its overall profits and retain market share," the letter states.

In February, the Edison, N.J.-based Vonage confirmed it had met with the FCC about the same problem, but stressed it had filed no formal complaint. Both Vonage and Nuvio told internetnews.com said the companies blocking Voip calls are setting a dangerous precedence for all IP-based services.

"It's the largest issue facing Voip and all other IP services," Jason Talley, president and CEO of Nuvio said in February. "What's next? E-mail that doesn't use your provider? Instant Messaging? If you purchase broadband access, you should be able to use the applications that run over it."

Vonage Senior Vice President Brooke Schulz added, "It's really about consumer protection. People and the Internet should not be infringed upon by last-mile providers. The whole principal of buying [broadband] service is being infringed upon."

Talley said broadband providers have three ways to block Voip calls: blocking the user's actual port at the consumer premises, blocking traffic from a registered service and selectively and randomly degrading service or introducing latency.



 
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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

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.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

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.

** Certain call types excluded.

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