Net Neutrality and Your VoIP SolutionJune 6, 2014
What is net neutrality? Net neutrality means the internet is delivered at the same speed for each of us. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business, startup or large corporation. Under net neutrality, internet service providers must deliver data over the internet equally and at the same price. Recently, the FCC authorized pay-to-play arrangements between deep pocketed corporations and the big internet providers for a fast internet lane. This could conceivably mean that small businesses would be relegated to the slow internet lane which could hurt their business and could potentially hurt startup innovation.
Currently, the FCC classifies broadband as an information service and not a telephone-style, common-carrier service. Because of this, some net neutrality advocates argue that the FCC will not be able to use its authority to make sure all users are served equally and that calls aren’t dropped or blocked. The appeals court has given the FCC a potential workaround. The court pointed to a section in the Telecommunications Act, which gives the FCC the broad authority to provide to the public open, safe and accessible broadband networks.
In a recent article in NetworkWorld.com, Bob Quinn, AT&T’s senior vice president for federal regulatory affairs was quoted as saying,
“There’s no doubt in the world that the FCC has the ability, they have jurisdiction over [IP-based] information services. The court decision “gives the FCC enormous leeway to make sure that we can effectuate this transition, that the values that we come to expect from … POTS service are going to continue.”
Most telecom policy experts agree that it does not make sense for providers to maintain IP networks and the old copper network, often called public-switched telephone network used to carry telephone service.
Is this something that should make you not considering swapping your old telephone equipment for new VoIP solutions? To be honest, probably not. Most carriers already offer voice-over-IP services and at some telecom carriers, two-thirds of voice customers already have switched to mobile or VoIP services.
We will continue to monitor the net neutrality ruling and will keep you updated on our blog.
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