Fears over VoIP price hike

By Derek Sooman on May 19, 2005, 4:22 PM
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decreed that voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services must from now on automatically link customers to a 911 emergency service, and ensure that emergency responders are able to have an originating address for the call. This has sparked fears that VoIP providers will have to raise their costs in order to keep going. This is bad news for VoIP, which most industry commentators were hoping was going to explode into something really big.

An even bigger concern of the VoIP providers is that the 911 ruling will make them vulnerable to their largest competitors, the traditional phone companies. Since those carriers control the phone connections to 911 centers, they'll be able to bill the VoIP vendors for handling calls that are transferred along those lines--or block them entirely. The traditional phone companies have lobbied hard for 911 regulations, hoping to slow down the explosive growth of VoIP services.




User Comments: 6

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Julio said:
... or they could simply use it as an excuse to raise prices in the longer term.
Phantasm66 said:
Well, they are obviously going to do whatever the hell they like anyway - I mean, everyone does now. No one gives a crap about the consumer anymore, certainly not telecommunication companies like these. Man, you even get Orange adverts talking about this revolutionary idea of looking after their existing customers, rather than merely looking for new ones - like this is some kind of new idea, or something. We get poor quality of service from all of these telephone, tv, isp companies all the time, and all they seem to do about it is raise prices.
tedster said:
It's called monopoly or oligarchy.... whichever the case, the consumer gets screwed.
dtkenmo said:
It's time for the rise of ad-hoc user-contolled networks. The enabling technology is certainly there (SIP). In fact it's already happening...
elbob said:
This from the "party of smaller government." Christ with an iPod, this stinks. What about letting the free enterprise system work, and let some companies offer 911 calls as a premium service. Personally, I could care less abut 911.This'll slow the small guys down so MicroSucks can get their part of the pie. Then, you'll be making a 911 call on MSVoIP, and your whole computer will freeze.
phantasm66 said:
I think that the issue was that someone sued one of these companies for not providing access to 911 services.
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