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Thursday, October 09, 2003

Judge: Minnesota Internet phone company not bound by telecom regulations

This seems intriguing, although until the written decision is released, it will be difficult to determine how far-reaching the effects will be. If the states are not allowed to regulate voice-over-IP, start putting some money into these companies, and divest from any long-distance carriers you may have money in.

The utilities commission wants Vonage -- which charges $34.99 a month for unlimited calling in the United States and Canada -- to be certified as a local phone company. Among other things, Haar said, that would require it to file a complete listing of its various offerings to consumers, a description of its plans for offering emergency 911 service and a plan for participating in a state program than subsidizes phone service for poor people in Minnesota.

Vonage believes that the judge, Davis, agreed with its argument that the state lacked regulatory authority in this case because the Constitution prohibits states from interfering with interstate commerce. Vonage, a privately held company based in Edison, N.J., said that it cannot tell where its calls originate from because the phone number may be linked to a portable computer.

"We can't tell where you are making the call," said Jeffrey Citron, Vonage's chairman and chief executive. "Our business is interstate by its very nature."

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06:14 AM in Web/Tech | Permalink


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