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vicmatson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: BellSouth V Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

I have read that BellSouth is enforcing their contracts where the prohibit 3rd party Voip providers(Vonage). I have Comcast and nothing has been said yet, but can they do that? I know there was a port blocking/DSL denial down south and was not allowed to continue. Is this an end run?
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EzCo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: BellSouth V Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

vicmatson wrote:
I have read that BellSouth is enforcing their contracts where the prohibit 3rd party Voip providers(Vonage). I have Comcast and nothing has been said yet, but can they do that? I know there was a port blocking/DSL denial down south and was not allowed to continue. Is this an end run?


Can they do it, absolutely. They make the contract and if you order their service you agree and are bound to that contract. Bottom line is they don't want you to use someone else's service that they can sell you themselves. That would mean less $$$ in their pocket. It's mafia tactics, but it's legal.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: BellSouth V Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

vicmatson wrote:
I have read that BellSouth is enforcing their contracts where the prohibit 3rd party Voip providers(Vonage). I have Comcast and nothing has been said yet, but can they do that? I know there was a port blocking/DSL denial down south and was not allowed to continue. Is this an end run?


I expect it is. Any telco that provides broadband right now HAS to know they're cutting their own long distance service, so of course they'll try to prevent you from using the connection for that purpose.

However, in most areas, those ISP's are also monopolies. They can't force you into an overly restrictive term of service (TOS) if there's no real competition.

Well, they can, but chances are they'll lose in court. Right now, they are just trying to squeeze the last drops out of Bessie the Cash Cow, most likely, by scaring customers who have no other choice back into the warm, comfy, profitable arms of what used to be part of Ma Bell.

In the mean time, if this happens to you, at least go down to your local 7-11 or whatever and buy yourself a phone calling card to save the per-minute fees, or get a cell phone like I did, just to make sure your local telco knows that they aren't the only game in town.

SBC will learn, soon enough, that they cannot compete in a level marketspace on telephone. Their strategic advantage is bandwidth, and lots of it. Anyone can provide phone service, and in the case of cell generally better service for the same price.

Eventually, they'll figure out that they need to sell bandwidth, and that includes welcoming bandwidth-hungry apps like Voip, because I can change phone lines easily, and lots of cell companies are lining up to give me a phone, but when I want nice, addictive, beautiful bandwidth I can only go to my local "drug dealer" for that. LOL.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:18 pm    Post subject: Re: BellSouth V Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

EzCo wrote:
Can they do it, absolutely. They make the contract and if you order their service you agree and are bound to that contract. Bottom line is they don't want you to use someone else's service that they can sell you themselves. That would mean less $$$ in their pocket. It's mafia tactics, but it's legal.


Actually, though it may be technically legal, the contract can also be challenged.

Many ISP's constitute a monopoly. For example, in my little town, the only player I can get any broadband from AT ALL is a company called SusCom. They are my ISP, and I'm happy with them. In their case, since they are NOT the phone company, they COULD actually hold up an anti-VoIP contract and it would hold up in court.

But let's say they were my telco and my DSL provider and the only broadband ISP I could use. Since they also want to sell me a phone line, they are putting themselves in the position where they are denying me competition with one of their products. Generally, AFAIK, anti-trust law frowns upon such practice, provided that no alternatives exist.

If I had a second option for my ISP, or a second source for phone lines, then I'd either have to put up with their provision or switch providers. But if I had no choice but to do business with them, then it would be very likely that I could get a court to have that part of the contract voided.

At which point, if my ISP wanted to be vindictive, they'd simply lower my upload bandwidth to below acceptable levels for Voip and I'd be toast anyway. Wink
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vicmatson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thats not good. If they get away with it the Telco and cable companies will have the Voip business all tied up. The Telco's own the Celco's and now Sprint is doing a deal with Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner. How are the Vonage's going to survive? I'll be stuck paying twice as much for Voip.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

vicmatson wrote:
Thats not good. If they get away with it the Telco and cable companies will have the Voip business all tied up. The Telco's own the Celco's and now Sprint is doing a deal with Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner. How are the Vonage's going to survive? I'll be stuck paying twice as much for Voip.


Vonage will survive because not many companies are going to be as stupid as SBC, or not for long.

I get my broadband through my cable company. My cable company doesn't give a rat's behind what I use my bandwidth for, as long as I don't go hogging it 24/7 or do something illegal or run a web site off it. They don't have a vested interest in discouraging me from Voip, because they don't offer Voip, they don't lose any business if I get a Voip line, and they know that me having Voip means I'm as addicted to my thick, juicy broadband account as a crackhead is to crack, so they have a dedicated customer who'll keep paying $50 a month and thanking them for decent service.

Broadband will be more and more available, and competition will be more and more fierce. Few companies seriously believe that long distance and voice services can continue to be a cash cow for long. The .com boom left TOO MUCH available bandwidth, resold to companies like SBC at rock bottom prices, for anyone to believe they can still charge high prices for using it.

This is SBC making sure they can squeeze the last drop out of their existing customer base. In the long run, though, as competition increases, SBC will likely regret this move deeply.
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vicmatson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Around here we have Comcast,Cox, and Melinium and they all offer Voip.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

vicmatson wrote:
Around here we have Comcast,Cox, and Melinium and they all offer Voip.


Then you have what is called "competition". If one of them decides to screw you out of Voip, change ISP's. Prove to them that they can have your base connection charge, but if they get greedy and go for the icing, they lose the whole cake.

If all of them do it, then see what other broadband options exist for you. I expect in a competitive market like yours ONE of them will want to differentiate their service by allowing 3rd party Voip, which is a competitive advantage.
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vicmatson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

NateHoy wrote:
vicmatson wrote:
Around here we have Comcast,Cox, and Melinium and they all offer Voip.


Then you have what is called "competition". If one of them decides to screw you out of Voip, change ISP's. Prove to them that they can have your base connection charge, but if they get greedy and go for the icing, they lose the whole cake.

If all of them do it, then see what other broadband options exist for you. I expect in a competitive market like yours ONE of them will want to differentiate their service by allowing 3rd party Voip, which is a competitive advantage.

Sorry when I said in my area I didn't mean they service the same areas. You don't have a choice unless you move to another county or State.

I also found it odd that Verizon(Telco) lowered DSL to $15.00 just like SBC/BellSouth did before these contracts that are now in question.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

vicmatson wrote:

Sorry when I said in my area I didn't mean they service the same areas. You don't have a choice unless you move to another county or State.

I also found it odd that Verizon(Telco) lowered DSL to $15.00 just like SBC/BellSouth did before these contracts that are now in question.


Ah. Sorry, my mistake.

Hmm. At $15 a month, they may be charging little enough to make a case that it would be unreasonable to expect them to give up Voip as long as their Voip rates were competitive.

If they were smart, though, they would bundle unlimited Voip into the mix at $30 a month and made it a no-brainer. No one would touch Vonage/Skype if they did that. They're a telco, for goodness sake, they've already got the facilities for it. Wink
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