VoIP and FCC regulation take center stage again

The use of VoIP phone services has seen a massive boom over the last few years. With the increased use of the technology as a communication tool, there has been question about how or if the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) should regulate the high-capacity networks of the future.

Recently that argument got more focused as major communication providers like AT&T, Verizon and smaller rural providers represented by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) filed comments with the FCC on January 28. A recent Bloomberg article recapped the latest developments.

According to AT&T, the FCC needs to establish test zones where regulations left over from the Ma Bell era – old school telephones – should no longer apply. This is because of old monopolies that the phone companies held no longer apply as the industry is transitioning to VoIP options. It also calls for the FCC to declare that these new networks are subject to regulation at the federal level.

The NTCA calls for the FCC to examine the means of promoting a switch to VoIP while creating incentive programs for phone companies to carry the data required for successful VoIP services.

“Ensuring a seamless transition to IP-based networks is an important priority for our national telecommunications infrastructure, but the commission shouldn’t reinvent the world of telecom,” Steven Berry, Competitive Carriers Association president and CEO, said in a news release.

Regardless of how this plays out, it shows how much VoIP phone systems have grown and the impact they are having on the telecommunication industry. Businesses that have not switched to VoIP should partner with an experienced IT consulting firm for a hand deploying a solution that works for them.

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