I think the short answer to this blog entry's title (Has the FCC already
decided how to regulate Internet Telephony?) is "No, it hasn't."
I just read through the blog entry and the referenced letters, and David
Isenberg seems to have things a bit twisted. He writes that Powell doesn't
consider net access a necessity and that the FCC is speeding toward VOIP
regulations with little public input. He also implies that the FCC will seek
to protect the incumbents by burdening VOIP providers. Based on Powell's
letter, the exact opposite is true.
The letter seems to directly contradict Isenberg's interpretation:
- "As I have said often, the deployment of broadband Internet services
every American is a national imperative." [no talk of luxury here]
- "This NPRM will, in part, inquire about the migration of voice services
IP-based networks and gather public comment on the appropriate regulatory
environment for VoIP services. Over the course of the next year, after full
public comment and thoughtful consideration of the record, the FCC plans to
follow up the NPRM with a Report and Order on the VoIP issues raised in the
proceeding." [one year doesn't sound like much "speeding"]
- "As the Senate moves to debate the Internet Tax Moratorium in the coming
days, I urge caution in addressing VoIP issues. There is universal agreement
that these Internet services hold great promise for the American people.
Imposing regulatory burdens on these new and emerging Internet services,
before the FCC fully engages the public and develops a comprehensive record,
may have the unintended consequence of stifling its growth and denying the
public benefits of that growth." [seems like he wants to limit any taxes on
So, unless you believe Powell means the opposite of what he says (who knows?
Could be a fair assumption), Isenberg is just plain wrong.
\baratunde rafiq thurston
comedian & writer