TITLE

FCC VOIP Policy: Follow The Money

AUTHOR(S)
Kuehn, Richard A.
PUB. DATE
February 2005
SOURCE
Business Communications Review;Feb2005, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p66
SOURCE TYPE
Trade Publication
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article presents information on the Federal Communications Commission's VOIP policy. Over the past 30 years, all levels of government--federal, state and local--have levied tax upon tax on telecom; it's become a cash cow for government. The multitude of fees, taxes and surcharges on the telephone bills is staggering. Not all of these are new; the Universal Service Fund was established to subsidize the provision of service to high-cost customers--rural consumers. It also is used to ensure access to low-income communities and to help defray service costs to public institutions like schools and libraries. If the Commission declares VOIP to be an information service, VOIP will be exempt from almost all those extra charges, and the vicious cycle described above begins to whirl. On the one hand, one understands the purist, technologically based argument that VOIP should be put into the information service category. However, from a functional perspective, VOIP is about substituting one set of technology for another in order to transmit voice over wires, circuits, cable and/or wireless systems.
ACCESSION #
15951365

 

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