Policy

Time Warner Wants Broader VoIP Ruling

10/26/2004 10:47 AM Eastern

Time Warner Inc. is pressing federal regulators to issue a broad ruling banning state regulation of voice over Internet protocol and not to confine it to just a narrow class of VoIP providers.

State pre-emption “should treat all VoIP providers the same way,” Time Warner explained in an Oct. 22 filing at the FCC.

Time Warner is concerned that Vonage Holdings Corp., but not cable operators, will benefit from a Federal Communications Commission vote scheduled for Nov. 9.

The FCC is expected to declare that VoIP providers like Vonage -- which routes traffic over the Internet and allows users to plug into any broadband connection to make calls -- are interstate services that fall within the agency’s jurisdiction, a step that removes state authority to require certification and payment of intrastate-access charges.

The FCC would also leave cable VoIP outside of the boundaries of its ruling.

Time Warner indicated that the FCC should not limit the scope of the ruling merely because cable VoIP stays within proprietary networks and does not have Vonage’s roaming capabilities.

“The [FCC] need not rely on service characteristics that do not meaningfully distinguish different providers from each other, including a provider’s offering of `nomadic’ service and its use of the `public Internet,’” Time Warner said.

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