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 California Abandons Vonage; VoIP Regulation Fight

Vonage In Print News

California Abandons VoIP Fight

April 18, 2005

By Erika Morphy

The California Public Utilities Commission has become the latest state agency to abandon regulation efforts for VoIP services and equipment.

The agency has reportedly voted to withdraw from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals its appeal of an FCC ruling made last November that prohibited states from regulating Internet phone services.

The states have eyed VoIP with longing, given its potential for tax revenues. Incumbent telephony carriers also have been resentful of states' inability to regulate competing VoIP carriers, arguing that VoIP companies provide phone-like service and should be regulated as a phone company.

However, the Federal Communications Commission took the opposite stance in its November ruling: VoIP is an information service -- not a telecom service -- and is to be treated as an ISP.

Not Alone

California was not the first state to challenge this view.
Last year, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission made and then lost essentially the same argument when it claimed it had the right to regulate Vonage, a leading provider of VoIP service to consumers.

 Posted by Vonage on Wednesday, April 20 @ 20:32:08 UTC
 (1002 reads)
Read More: California Abandons Vonage; VoIP Regulation Fight

 Cal. PUC withdrawing appeal of FCC VoIP Ruling

Vonage In Print News


April 18, 2005

By Staff

As expected, the Cal. PUC is withdrawing an appeal of the FCC Vonage decision preempting state regulation of VoIP services, signaling PUC acceptance of the FCC action. The move reflected a decision made during the closed litigation part of the April 7 PUC meeting. The Cal. PUC was the first state to appeal the FCC order, leading court officials to consolidate all other state appeals into one case at the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals, San Francisco. The PUC's 3-1 decision to withdraw its appeal may lead other parties to move that the case be relocated to another federal circuit.

PUC Pres. Michael Peevey said he voted to drop the appeal because it's "a loser issue." He said VoIP is "obviously" an interstate service. He said he wanted the PUC to address telecom technology changes through more productive avenues.

 Posted by Vonage on Tuesday, April 19 @ 00:00:00 UTC
 (977 reads)
Read More: Cal. PUC withdrawing appeal of FCC VoIP Ruling

 Vonage Review: The UTStarcom F1000, Vonage’s WiFi Phone

Vonage In Print News

Review Of The UTStarcom F1000, Vonage’s First WiFi Phone

April 15, 2005

By Peter Rojas

It’s been almost a year and a half since we heard the first rumblings about this, but we finally got to spend a few days with the UTStarcom F1000, Vonage’s long-awaited WiFi phone. Is it everything we were waiting for? Well, not exactly, but as a proof-of-concept we definitely like where they’re going with this. Read on for our impressions.


First off, the handset itself has all the cutting edge styling of a late Nineties Nokia and if you’re the type that’s embarrassed to pull anything but the latest Sony Ericsson or Motorola out of your pocket (it’s ok to fess to this!), you might feel a little “weird” using the UTStarcom F1000 in public. Otherwise, the phone will remind you of a vintage cellphone in more ways than one—if the design doesn’t do it, perhaps the small, grayscale LCD or old school interface will do the trick.

[Note: Vonage made it very clear to us before they sent us the handset that the F1000 is in beta, so keep that in mind as you read this.]

 Posted by Vonage on Monday, April 18 @ 17:42:59 UTC
 (16704 reads)
Read More: Vonage Review: The UTStarcom F1000, Vonage’s WiFi Phone

 CA PUC Gives Up VOIP Fight

Vonage In Print News

PUC Gives Up Fight Over VOIP

April 15, 2005

By James S. Granelli

State regulators have reversed themselves on broadband telephone calling and ceded oversight to the federal government — a move that critics fear will leave California customers with little recourse for poor or faulty service.

The state Public Utilities Commission voted 3 to 1 behind closed doors late last week to pull out of its appeal of a Federal Communications Commission rule designating so-called voice over Internet protocol as an interstate service beyond state control.

California's was the first of several state utility commissions to appeal the FCC order, leading to the combining of the cases in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Its decision to withdraw is likely to cause delays and a move to another circuit.

The largely unregulated VOIP technology sends voice, data and video in packets like e-mail over high-speed, or broadband, lines. In addition to start-ups such as Vonage Holdings Corp., big phone companies use VOIP to power parts of their own networks.

In reversing its decision of five months ago, the PUC also voted to file papers supporting the FCC's rule.

 Posted by Vonage on Monday, April 18 @ 00:00:00 UTC
 (1003 reads)
Read More: CA PUC Gives Up VOIP Fight

 Vonage Partners With Campus TeleVideo For VoIP Resale

Vonage In Print News

Vonage Partners With Campus TeleVideo

April 14, 2005

By Staff

Vonage Holdings Corp. is reselling its broadband phone service through Campus TeleVideo, private cable operator that focuses solely on the college and university markets.

The partnership already has given Vonage access to schools including UCLA, Penn State University, University of Georgia and Rutgers University. Vonage says it is offering Campus TeleVideo's subscribers unlimited local and long-distance calling throughout the United States and Canada for a flat rate.

Subscribers will be able to choose from all of Vonage’s calling plans, and get features including Web-based voice mail, area code selection and online account management.

 Posted by Vonage on Sunday, April 17 @ 13:33:48 UTC
 (1054 reads)
Read More: Vonage Partners With Campus TeleVideo For VoIP Resale

 Vonage Offers Affordable 800 Number Service

Vonage In Print News

Getting An 800 Number

April 12, 2005

By Ian Mount

The Problem: Your child rarely calls home.

The Solution:Consider an 800 number for the family. These services have been around for years, but often with exorbitant per-minute charges. Now prices are dropping, though they can still add up. Kall8, an add-on to your regular phone service, costs $2 to set up and $2 a month; most incoming calls are 6.9 cents a minute.

Though the monthly fees are often higher, traditional phone carriers offer the service too. AT&T and SBC charge $2.95 a month; AT&T calls are 15 cents a minute and SBC's per-minute price is a dime; neither charges a setup fee. Even Internet-calling companies now have the service. Vonage, for example, levies a $9.99 setup fee and $4.99 per month, for 100 minutes of calls. Such providers can be attractive for heavy users.

 Posted by Vonage on Saturday, April 16 @ 00:00:00 UTC
 (3876 reads)
Read More: Vonage Offers Affordable 800 Number Service

 Vonage Enters Wireless VoIP Market With Dual-Mode Device

Vonage In Print News

Vonage Eyes Wireless Entry With Dual-Mode Device

April 4, 2005

By Mike Dano

Voice over IP carrier Vonage Holdings Corp. plans to release a dual-mode Wi-Fi GSM device by the end of this year, and is considering selling the corresponding wireless service as a mobile virtual network operator.

The moves show that upstart Vonage is aiming to become a major player not only in the emerging VoIP market, but also in the wireless industry. And if the company is successful in entering wireless, its presence would serve to further complicate an already complicated market.

Michael Tribolet, executive vice president for Vonage's operations, said the carrier is definitely interested in dual-mode devices. Such gadgets would give Vonage's customers inexpensive calling options in Wi-Fi areas through VoIP as well as complete mobility through wide area wireless networks. Tribolet said the company was still in negotiations for such a device, but that it hoped to release a dual-mode phone by the fourth quarter of this year. Tribolet declined to discuss potential device manufacturers, but said Vonage was talking to several such vendors.

Tribolet hinted at Vonage's potential MVNO offering while discussing the dual-mode device. He said Vonage would only sell a dual-mode device if it could combine both the Wi-Fi and wide area network costs into one bill. When asked if that meant Vonage would offer its own wide area wireless services as an MVNO, Tribolet said, "there's several options, but that's an option."

"Bundling Wi-Fi and wide area wireless is the only way we would look at it," he said, adding that Vonage's goal is to keep its billing services as simple as possible.

"Our goal is to focus on the consumer," Tribolet said. "We're not here to do anything but focus on the consumer."

A Vonage MVNO service, along with a dual-mode device, would highlight several notable aspects of the telecommunications market.

 Posted by vonage on Friday, April 08 @ 14:11:31 UTC
 (2890 reads)
Read More: Vonage Enters Wireless VoIP Market With Dual-Mode Device

 Vonage VoIP: Part Of The Well-Wired Home

Vonage In Print News

The Well-Wired Home

April 11, 2005

By Harold Goldberg

Unless you spend hours researching obscure acronyms online, home electronics gets more confusing every day. Here’s what to do about three key purchases: your TV, your radio, and your phone.

Flat-Screen TV
Plasma or LCD?

What You Need to Know

If you’ve been sitting on the flat-screen fence, it’s a good time to jump off. The biggest price drop has already happened: On average, prices fell more than 20 percent last year; a $9,600 50-inch Hitachi plasma can now be had for $4,300. Although prices will continue to drop at a projected 10 to 15 percent annual rate, you can buy now and feel safe that you won’t look like a fool in a few months.

And the shift to high-definition television is finally happening, with networks airing 4,800 hours this year, including Lost and ER (on cable, much of ESPN is already HD, as is HBO). Many flat-screens have HDTV as standard, so you’ll get a better as well as bigger picture.

 Posted by vonage on Friday, April 08 @ 00:00:00 UTC
 (1415 reads)
Read More: Vonage VoIP: Part Of The Well-Wired Home

 Clearwire Was One Of Two Broadband Providers Causing Problems For Vonage

Vonage In Print News

Wireless Operator Clearwire Was One Of Two Broadband Providers Causing Recent Problems, Now Resolved, For Internet Phone Operator Vonage's Traffic, A Vonage Spokeswoman Said Wednesday

April 6, 2005

By Ben Charny

Vonage also said last month that a cable operator, along with Clearwire, was suspected of blocking calls and not letting some home-phone adapters work appropriately. The cable operator's identity and the exact cause of the problems were still shrouded in mystery Wednesday.

A Clearwire spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Blocked calls by design or technical error are becoming more commonplace for Vonage and other voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, telephone operators. The usual suspects are broadband providers, which view VoIP providers as unwanted hitchhikers on their networks. Because VoIP software lets any Internet connection double as an inexpensive phone line, Vonage and other "networkless" operators need only require subscribers to supply a broadband connection on their own.

 Posted by vonage on Thursday, April 07 @ 18:30:14 UTC
 (1912 reads)
Read More: Clearwire Was One Of Two Broadband Providers Causing Problems For Vonage

 Vonage VoIP Phone Service Scrambles For Numbers

Vonage In Print News

Wireless: Internet Phone Service Scrambles For Numbers

April 4, 2005

By Chris Oakes

Paris - Internet phone service, once only for computers with special software and special headphones, has adapted to work using not only old-fashioned telephones but old-fashioned telephone numbers as well.

Around Europe, these new low-cost services are distributing conventional dialing codes along with each new account for Internet phone service, called VOIP, for voice over Internet protocol.

"VOIP phones are now accessed by dialing telephone numbers that look like normal telephone numbers - because that's exactly what they are," said Graeme Maguire, communications partner at Bird & Bird, an international commercial law firm based in London.

But on the Internet, nobody knows what country code you are calling from. So far, there are no clear patterns in the way these numbers are allocated around the world.

VOIP dialing codes may be assigned just like conventional lines or, as with mobile accounts, they may begin with a new prefix.

"This has been one of the more contentious issues that have been playing out in different countries," Maguire said.

Consumer VOIP services in the United States handle Internet lines via partnerships with regional fixed-line phone providers. As a result, a U.S. phone number for a VOIP service like Vonage can be called the same way as a number for Verizon or Sprint.

Customers can choose a number prefaced by any available U.S. area code, thereby allowing Vonage users to make their VOIP number a local call for people in a particular region.

 Posted by vonage on Tuesday, April 05 @ 00:00:00 UTC
 (1603 reads)
Read More: Vonage VoIP Phone Service Scrambles For Numbers

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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 for details.

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