Speculation over new FCC regulations of VoIP service heats up

The use of VoIP phone services has grown in both the consumer and business world. However, as the market has expanded, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), has taken a much greater interest in the service and how to govern it.

In a guest column for VentureBeat, Michael Ventimiglia examined the recent developments between the FCC and the VoIP industry.

First up is the move by AT&T to classify VoIP under the state-based American Legislative Exchange Council's model Internet as an "information service" not a telecommunications service. That would give the FCC little claim to regulate VoIP. The provider also tried to abolish additional regulations. The outcome of that is still pending but it caused a stir for both the telecommunication and government agency.

This week, things are abuzz again, as FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced his resignation along with commissioner Robert McDowell. Both of them have been a major player in the regulation of the technology industry.

Whoever is chosen to fill these two spots will play a role in the future of VoIP regulations. Speculation is that one member of the Republican and Democratic parties will be chosen.

There is also belief that with an increasingly connected world, it is inevitable that the FCC will take a more active role in the pursuit of VoIP regulation.

"Despite all inner conflict, the FCC looks primed to implement new regulatory policies," wrote Ventimiglia. "It looks as though the gears are in motion. Regardless of stances both for and against, increased FCC presence seems inevitable. Even so, while changes loom on the horizon the future of the VoIP industry remains unclear."

For companies that are considering implementing a VoIP system, partnering with an IT consulting firm that is up-to-date with the latest government regulation is the best course of action.

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