Vonage Hits Dubious Milestone

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Vonage Holdings Corp., the rapidly growing Internet phone company with 100,000 subscribers, has achieved yet another milestone: It has hired a full-time Washington, D.C., lobbyist.

A Vonage spokeswoman said Thursday Chris Murray will become director of government affairs for the company starting June 1. A lawyer with a degree from Georgetown University Law Center, Murray is leaving Consumers Union’s Washington office, where he was legislative counsel working under cable a la carte advocate Gene Kimmelman.

Vonage and the cable industry have a difficult relationship. They agree that states should not regulate voice-over-Internet Protocol services like traditional phone companies. Vonage, unlike cable companies, does not own wires that connect to homes.

As a result, Vonage might clash with cable by supporting new laws and regulations that bar network owners from discriminating against competing VoIP services.

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