NCTA Urges VoIP Restraint by FCC


The cable industry's largest trade association is urging regulators to
exercise restraint in their approach to voice-telephone services when commingled
with Internet-protocol technology.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association said Friday that it
was too early in the history of IP telephony for the Federal Communications
Commission to attach regulatory labels to the service.

After noting the initial IP-telephony efforts of cable operators, the NCTA
told the FCC, "Given the nascency of the services at issue," it was "premature"
to decide whether IP telephony is a telecommunications service or an information

While telecommunications services are heavily regulated, information services
have been exempt from many regulatory obligations.

The NCTA's comments came in connection with AT&T Corp.'s request to
exempt IP telephony from the payment of access charges to local phone carriers.
Local phone companies, which collect the access charges, are opposing AT&T's