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FCC Fines Company for Blocking Access to VoIP

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the strike-one dept.

Censorship 294

peg0cjs writes "According to PCPro, the FCC has handed out a $15,000 fine to Madison River Communications Corp for blocking access to VoIP calls. The action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks. The complaint was made to the FCC by two companies Vonage Holdings and Nuvio, which specialise in VoIP services. It appears that Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron was willing to act on his earlier tirade about VoIP blocking." From the article: "The action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks. Many of these companies see VoIP as a threat to their landline revenues as calls made over the internet can be made to anywhere in the world for the price of a local call."

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Nigger lover (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846275)

Fucking niggers always trying to destroy technology. They probably want us to dance around a camp fire too.

15 grand to a telco company... (4, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846276)

Is something like me getting a $10 parking ticket, annoying but hardly worth acting on beyond mailing the puppy in...though I suppose the command to change policy as such will have an effect...

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (5, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846298)

True, it's peanuts... but no one said it would stay at that low a fine... do it again, and we'll up the fine... just like with a kid, slap the wrists, then the ass, then nail them over the head with a frying pan... As a side note, I'm not a parent, so take my example with a grain of salt

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846405)

As a side note, I'm not a parent, so take my example with a grain of salt

Obviously. Any parent knows you use the frying pan first.

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846651)

A 12" Lodge by prefrence.

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846418)

I am a parent, butyou had me right up to the frying pan.

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (1)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846299)

From TFA:

"A local telco, Madison River Communications Corp., which runs a number of phone companies in rural areas in the south-eastern and mid-western United States, agreed to refrain from blocking VoIP calls and pay a $15,000 dollar fine to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)."

They've agreed to stop, so it does matter, the fine is on top of them agreeing to stop.

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (5, Informative)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846315)

It's not the size of the fine, but the precedent it sets that is important here.

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846359)

I agree with you, it's not the size of the fine that counts, it's how you use it!

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (4, Interesting)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846344)

I know that telco's are fairly large, but this seems to be a rather small telco. They deal only with rural customers. To them, $15,000 is quite a bit more than it would be to someone like Qwest, Verizon, Cox, Comcast, etc. But, it shows the big boys that the FCC will not tolerate these actions. You probably could expect a much larger fine to one of them, especially if it's more than 200 customers that get blocked.

Re:15 grand to a telco company... (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846636)

Well it's good and all that the FCC went after a mom and pops telco, i'd be happier seeing a 150,000 fine for one of the big players you have listed if they block the same traffic (as I think i saw an article saying one or more of them had?)

HIllary Clinton, TCS, and Offshoring (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846393)

Look Here [emediawire.com]

Re:HIllary Clinton, TCS, and Offshoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846576)

Now, THAT's an offtopic post.

Good (1, Interesting)

whitelabrat (469237) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846277)

Those of us who use VoIP should be friendly neighbors and use compression if possible to conserve bandwidth?

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846324)

Why?

I am limited in my bandwidth from my provider. I can do whatever I want with that bandwidth, providing it's within the law and the agreement that I signed when I became a customer of my ISP.

If I want high quality lower compressed telephone calls, and I'm not breaking any agreements, then i should be able to do that.

I pay for this bandwidth, it's better that I make a call and use my bandwidth than become one of the many who are spending bandwidth trading kiddie porn.

Re:Good (1)

vida (695022) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846508)

This is a bad argument. I am sure that on that agreement you signed the company reserves the right to change it as they see fit. Tomorrow they will add VoIP to the SMTP, HTTP, FTP, etc list, and charge you more for it.

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846530)

I can do whatever I want with that bandwidth

Where do you live? Everyone I know has a terms of service agreement that restricts what they can do with "their" bandwidth (an in fact, my ISP blocks port 80)

VOIP is a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846279)

"...calls made over the internet can be made to anywhere in the world for the price of a local call."

Which is A Good Thing(tm). Suck it up Telcos!

Wait wait wait (4, Funny)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846286)

But I thought we hate the FCC! I just don't know what to believe anymore!

Re:Wait wait wait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846384)

What does Sir Bill Gates think?

Believe this. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846397)

Everyone on the FCC panel is a whore. They don't care about America, they care about the people in their rollodex, and what those people want they get.

Re:Wait wait wait (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846417)

But I thought we hate the FCC! I just don't know what to believe anymore!

We hate the FCC when they are an obstacle to free speech, not when they are fining others for being obstacles to new tech.

In this case, they did the right thing by protecting the lil' guy. But in the cases where they want to tell you what your content can or can't be, as Eric Idle says: fuck you very much, the FCC [pythonline.com] .

Just beware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846487)

Next we'll love SCO!

Re:Wait wait wait (1)

drakethegreat (832715) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846631)

No the FCC Is everyone's bitch. They just do whats popular at the moment.

Re:Wait wait wait (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846656)

I think what the FCC is trying to say is the only the FCC has the right to block free speech.

Mail and Web Servers (4, Interesting)

varmittang (849469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846290)

So, can I use this precedence to have them unblock port 25 and 80 so I can run my mail and web server without any problems?

Re:Mail and Web Servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846371)

So, can I use this precedence to have them unblock port 25 and 80 so I can run my mail and web server without any problems?

Yea, if they can fine them for blocking VoIP ports why couldn't we for smtp and http? My telco says I can just change the ports the servers run on to ports they don't block. Can you not change your VoIP servers to operate on different ports?

Re:Mail and Web Servers (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846488)

Easy: voip over 80 and 25.

Jokingly.
Although voip over smtp is going to incur some serious latency.

I wonder if strapping a 512mb usb on a carrier pigeon would be faster.

Re:Mail and Web Servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846494)

No kidding.

I'm tired of this blocking port 25 bullshit.

Re:Mail and Web Servers (4, Interesting)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846535)

Not if you agreed to the TOS that you wouldn't run any servers while connected to their service...

$20* says that is probably in your contract while restrictions on VOIP are nowhere to be found.

The $20 mentioned is simply a euphamism for a congratulatory high-five.

Re:Mail and Web Servers (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846657)

Well, isn't there a clause or something that says that they can change or modify the service agreement at anytime without notice. Something of that nature to make turning off VoIP, or any other service they provide, legal to do.

Re:Mail and Web Servers (5, Informative)

PepeGSay (847429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846586)

There is a common misconception that the origianl issues with blocked VoIP calls originated at the ISP level. Let me repeat: "It did not occur at the ISP level.". It was blocked inside the phone network of the Telco, which is entirely different on many many levels. This precedence is unrelated to your ISP's regulation of your ports.

Re:Mail and Web Servers (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846616)

I'm guessing they would make the argument that they already offer you email and web hosting as part of their service. Maybe they'll try the same thing for VoIP - with of a 10 megs of included web hosting space they give X megs of transfer time over a VoIP port. But then they would have to get into the business of VoIP -- so they might as well try to block it.

FCC finally does right (4, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846294)

Good to see the FCC actually doing something that gives consumers choice. Now only if we could get them to drop the stupid broadcast flag.

Pocket change (3, Insightful)

Kimos (859729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846297)

IANAL, but I assume the fine goes way up from there, right? If it cuts into the telco's bottom line so much $15,000 isn't a big price to pay to block it.

Re:Pocket change (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846607)

This is a small rural telco, and only 200 people were affected. That amounts to $75/person. If Verizon were to be fined at the same rate per person, that would probably amount to tens of millions.

More importantly, IMHO, is the message this sends to other telcos.

VOIP Packets Gain "Special Protected Status" (3, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846300)

Thanks!
In my next postings I will include encoded voice messages as a series of ASCII tokens.

Better not mod them down, or you'll be fined for impeding competition...

(and yes, this is not meant seriously)

Fine Money? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846316)

Just something I've been wondering. Where does all of this money from fines go to? Janet Jackson netted the FCC some pretty decent change, so what happened to it?

Re:Fine Money? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846548)

To buy hammers?

Re:Fine Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846643)

Duh. They use it to fund huge beer & pr0n parties. Sheesh!

Re:Fine Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846670)

This is the FCC. Beer and pr0n is bad. They probably buy more Bibles.

Good! (5, Interesting)

TGK (262438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846325)

I for one am sick of corps trying to preserve dieing business models by abusing existing power structures.

It will be interesting to see what will become of information infrastructure in this country in the next few years. IBM v Microsoft of the early 21st century is going to be Cable v. Telephone. Where it goes depends on the rules of the game. This decision firmly establishes that network transparency won't be sacrificed in the fray.

Gonna cause a lot of upset, though (4, Interesting)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846612)

The price of LD service has been falling steadily for years, but the drop to zero (and the end of the telco's cut for handling it) is going to throw a lot of revenue models in the trash. So what could happen?
  • Revenue falls below the price of service, companies go out of business.
  • Per-line fees are increased to make company profitable, more customers jump ship to cell service for voice calls, more and more landline infrastructure goes unused, fees are increased... death spiral.
  • Companies try to offer new services but are stuck in regulatory limbo while competitors get to market first.

Then there's the issue with overseas service. The undersea cables are supported with revenue from phone calls, and bandwidth is limited. Financing cables with the "all you can eat" Internet model is going to be interesting.

I don't see any way this can be good for local telcos, and maybe not for overseas carriers either. It may be time to sell any shares you own.

Re:Good! (1)

PepeGSay (847429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846645)

I for one am sick of corps trying to preserve dieing business models by abusing existing power structures.

Here here!

It's so pervasive though as to make you think it is just plain inevitable. Something that can not be stopped but can only be guarded...

Copernicus and the church... a very old sample of abuse of existing power structures....

Wrist Slap. (0, Redundant)

Loko Draucarn (398556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846334)

$15,000? It doesn't seem like all that much.

It's good though to see some anti-(anti-competitive) behavior out of the FCC, though.

Hmm .dangerous precedent? (0)

The UberDork (689979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846336)

Is this potentially a dangerous precedent? That is really all that is done is port-blocking .. are we saying that now you can be fined for closing a port on your own equipement? What happens we find out the latest virus want to attack on that port? Can we still be fined? And really .. all VoIP is gonna do is kill "unlimited" bandwidth connections... don't think for a second that a TelCo won't jump after revenue.

Anti-Competition (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846372)

I could be wrong but I believe this particular incident was anti-competition rather than for blocking certain traffic.

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (3, Insightful)

Kimos (859729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846382)

I don't agree. It's the intent that's important. They weren't helping anyone but themselves. You pay the telco to provide you with service.

If they were given the right to block it, you can just switch to another provider right? Well what happens when that provider blocks you out? Eventually you'd get locked out. After that they'd offer to open that port for you if you requested it, for a price....

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (2, Insightful)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846590)

Exactly, this wasn't put in place for security reasons (M1/ATTBI blocking port 80 during the code red outbreak). Or for policy reasons for service (Verizon blocking port 25 on consumer DSL).

This was done specifically to block competition.

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (0, Flamebait)

redcircle (796312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846452)

I'm totally against this ruling it's their bandwidth Vonage isn't paying for it. If I were Madison River Communications Corp I'd start charging for that ports useage.

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (1)

Stick_Fig (740331) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846503)

Hey, I'm totally against this last post. It's your ISP's bandwidth, /. isn't paying for it. If I were your ISP, I'd start charging /. whenever people visit it.

Get off your ivory tower, jackass. People pay to use the Internet, not just the web, and VoIP is on the Internet.

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846515)

Except that they also sell phone services. In essence they are abusing their "monopoly" in one area so as to drive out competition in another area.
It's akin to Microsoft preventing you from using Firefox.

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (2, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846551)

They are ALREADY charing for that ports useage. It is part of there standard service which advertised "full interenet access".

The FCC basically claims that Full Interenet access has been deteremined to include VoIP, so Madison was committing fraud.

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (1)

Flying Purple Wombat (787087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846574)

The end user, Madison River's local telephone customer, is paying for the bandwidth. Why should Vonage pay for it, too?

You (and I and everyone else here) pay an ISP for bandwidth. They agreed to route my packets, and I pay them for the service. The contents of those packets is none of thier business.

Re:Hmm .dangerous precedent? (4, Insightful)

baudilus (665036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846588)

it's their bandwidth Vonage isn't paying for it

But you, the consumer, are paying for that bandwidth. As a customer of Vonage, I can tell you that it's not even that much - 90kbps is the HIGHEST quality setting. If I'm paying the cable / telephone / ISP company for a certain amount of bandwidth, I should be able to use that bandwidth as I see fit, as long as it conforms with the customer agreement. As yet, I have not seen an agreement that says "I will not use VoIP services on this connection."

You work for a phone company, I bet. or maybe a cable company...

Only fools block VoIP (5, Insightful)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846345)

The smart ones throttle back the quality of the connection. Thanks to the bursty nature of the internet, they can get away with making the quality total shit for 3rd party VoIP providers, while allcocating the necessary bandwidth and priority to their own VoIP services.

Re:Only fools block VoIP (3, Informative)

therevolution (525890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846386)

Somebody's been reading Cringely's latest article [pbs.org] ...

Re:Only fools block VoIP (3, Interesting)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846512)

It helps that I work in telecommunications. Only regulations can force the ISPs to ensure a QoS which will make VoIP viable for 3rd party providers, and the lack of regulations is the one key component which makes VoIP so cheap when compared to the traditional phone companies. Its a catch 22, and this is why I'm not worried about watching the company I work for go bankrupt.

RE: Blocking... (0, Offtopic)

Sabathius (566108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846348)


I really object to this telco blo
[no carrier]

Priorities of Our Country` (2, Insightful)

slipnslidemaster (516759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846362)



First off, I'm happy that they did this to send a warning. I want innovation and I want competition to make things better.

Having said that, I find it deplorable that we fine a paltry $15,000 for stopping innovation yet fine broadcasters $500,000 per incident for "violations" that should be free speech.

I think we should amend the Constitution to say, "By the Corporations, for the Corporations".

Re:Priorities of Our Country` (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846649)

The Constitution does not say by the people, for the people. Lincoln referred to our government being "of the people, by the people, and for the people", but the Constitution makes no such claim.

Dupe in the posting... (0, Troll)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846368)

So now Slashdot is duping the story twice in the first posting. Nice.

Telco's should get with the program (5, Interesting)

Calimus (43046) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846370)

It's a no brainer that voIP is where things are going to end up. The simple solution is for the telco's to jump on that poney and ride it to the bank. The R&D is already done, the equipment prices have come down. While I don't have any figured to work with, I'm sure the return on investment if they plan correctly can't be that bad.

It's like the US post office issue, e-mail is causing them to loose money. Simple solution. USPS internet kiosks where you pay for time to use their system to access your e-mail. Those that don't have laptops/handhelds but have $1 for 30min of time would jump on it. The market is there, just have to have the right bait to real them in. Problem is that telco's like the USPS have been doing things the same way for so long, change is a very painfull process. Welp, take a pain pill and get moving you corporate lackies.

Re:Telco's should get with the program (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846475)

It's a no brainer that voIP is where things are going to end up.

It's a no brainer? Really? Where will it end up then? My stock portfolio would really like to know.

There are the backbone providers who are also telcos, like AT&T and Sprint. Some of these companies are in cellular, like Sprint, others like AT&T have dumped their wireless holdings and only want to be in IP services. There are the Vonages of the world, companies who go and create pricing models based on tarrifs and pass domestic calls on to customers for free and only charge them for long distance. Others, like Skype, use P2P technologies and are free to any gateways. There is asterisk, an open source softswitch, with companies making FXO and FXS gateways that go into PCI slots, and trying to build directory services on top of that to build a phone system for the people by the people.

There are RBOCs like Qwest who had to allow long distance providers like AT&T to compete as CLECs in their markets in exchange for carrying long distance traffic with the FCC.

There are state sponsored telcos like China Telecom who build multiservice backbones and want to outlaw any VoIP traffic that is not their own.

No, I'm afraid where VoIP is headed is not a no brainer. In fact, you need a pretty good crystal ball to predict where this is headed. And just for fun, throw video into the mix.

Re:Telco's should get with the program (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846557)

I don't think it's like the USPS at all. First, the USPS is intended to be more of a public service the a profitable business (like public transportation or something). So I hope they won't be too worried about "loosing" money or developing alternative business models if their current one becomes obsolete. Second, until we invent teleporters, we'll still need to send things through the USPS, UPS, or FedEx. You know, "things", like actual physical things.

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846373)

Interesting. It would appear that this action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks.

"Not" a big fine.... probably not true... (4, Insightful)

VE3ECM (818278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846374)

I don't know about you, but I've never heard of 'Madison River Communications Corp'...
Sounds like a small fish in the pond. A 15K fine is definitely going to make them pay attention.

And it's going to make the big players sit up and take notice.

Think of this more as a "warning shot across the bow" than a slap on the wrist.

A start... (2, Insightful)

ksilebo (134470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846379)

Its a move in the right direction, but to the bigger telcos, $15,000 isn't that big of a hit. Especially when doing something blatantly unethical.

Dupe? (2, Insightful)

charlie763 (529636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846381)

"The action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks" Does this count as a dupe or will it need to read that quote a third time?

FCC is very soft! (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846385)

The FCC should fine this company US$15,000 per blocked call and the fine should attract interest at current rates. If this company has pockets as deep as those of M$, I suggest going further and holding the executives to account. I hope I am not being too "right wing" or extremist.

this is /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846638)

I hope I am not being too "right wing" or extremist.

It's OK to be extremist when your backing a liberal agenda.

That's not a fine. (3, Insightful)

mhollis (727905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846391)

$15,000 is hardly a significant threat to a telco, it's more like a "warning ticket" given to a speeder that the cop is good buddies with.

When I think of the fines imposed on Howard Stern, it convinces me that they're not all that serious about limiting challenges to VOIP.

VOIP traffic characteristics (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846402)

Don't VOIP packets require higher priority than normal to keep quality decent? If so, how does everyone who is doing regular IP operations feel about their jobs being delayed in order to provide priority to VOIP users?

Re:VOIP traffic characteristics (1)

CPUgrind (630274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846546)

VOIP packets do need consistant bandwidth for a good quality conversation, and most VOIP services do mark the packets for priority using COS or DSCP. Routers on the Internet in general do not pay any attention to the priority markings therefore VOIP gets no priority. If you really want to complain that your data traffic is getting a lower priority than voice traffic it would have to be to an ISP that also does VOIP as I am sure they do pay attention to the priority marked packets for their own customers.

Re:VOIP traffic characteristics (2, Informative)

SoVeryWrong (576783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846577)

The Quality of Service server is in your home, not running at your ISP. It pushes up the priority on data sent and requested from your home, so if you're downloading something it won't make your phone sound like shit.

Re:VOIP traffic characteristics (1)

cwj123 (16058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846592)

Depends on the speed of your connection, normally it'd probably help. But if you've got enough bandwidth it doesn't make a difference.

Re:VOIP traffic characteristics (1)

windowpain (211052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846666)

IIRC VOIP uses only 16kbps (someone will surely correct me if I'm wrong). So even if its packets get "priority" do VOIP calls really have that much impact? At least so far?

This (undated) article quoting Jupiter Research:

http://www.etmag.com/publication/magazine/2004-1 1/ 70.htm

says only "1% of U.S. broadband households (or 400,000 households)" currently use VOIP.

The research, however, also says that VOIP will jump to 17% will jump to 17% of broadband households over the next five years.

Then things will get pretty interesting.

Nuvio? (1)

necrodeep (96704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846406)

I believe the other VOIP company is named Nuvio rather than Nuvia.

Smart Telcos and ISPs don't have to block VoIP (3, Interesting)

Specks (798579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846423)

As this recent article from Robert X. Cringely [pbs.org] says, all the the big telephone and cable TV companies have to do is tag their packets and the result:

Tagged packets get both less restrictive rules for passage and a private highway lane to drive on.

Robert X. Cringely

The result from that. Companies like Vonage and Packet8 are crippled and it's legal too.

Re:Smart Telcos and ISPs don't have to block VoIP (1)

CPUgrind (630274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846660)

Well, we didn't really BLOCK them: class-map match-all COMCAST-VOIP-CONTROL match dscp af31 class-map match-all COMCAST-VOICE match dscp ef match access-list 101 / COMCAST SUBNETS class-map match-all VONAGE-PACKET8-VOICE match rtp ! policy-map WE-HAVE-CONTROL class COMCAST-VOICE priority percent 95 class COMCAST-CONTROL priority percent 4.9 class VONAGE-PACKET8-VOICE priority percent 0.1 ! Interface ALL ! service-policy output WE-HAVE-CONTROL

smtp, http? (1)

vida (695022) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846472)

Don't missundertand the following. I've been a VoIP user for two years now; but is now the time to complain to the FCC about ISPs blocking smtp/http/ftp also? What's the difference?

Now if VoIP can succeed internationally.... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846482)

in not being inhibited. Many countries use the telephone system as a cash cow and as such, because there has been no competition, they have REALLY sub par POTS. VoIP would really cut into that revenue they generate from telephone calls making their government suffer. In the US the telephone company really is the last big holdout in the great analog to digital migration. It doesn't make sense that I can chat with my friends halfway around the world on my PC but get totally reamed when I call home to talk to my Mom. I just helped a charity switch to VoIP and now the biggest cost in their organization is now budgetable, they actually know how much they are going to pay each month.

Re:Now if VoIP can succeed internationally.... (1)

BackInIraq (862952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846655)

It doesn't make sense that I can chat with my friends halfway around the world on my PC but get totally reamed when I call home to talk to my Mom. I just helped a charity switch to VoIP and now the biggest cost in their organization is now budgetable, they actually know how much they are going to pay each month.

The US military finally figured this one out too, and awarded a contract to provide VoIP phone centers on installations over here in Iraq, so we pay 4 cents a minute to call home rather than the 17 or so that AT&T was charging at their phone centers. Of course, the internet here is satellite based, so the lag sucks...but still nice nonetheless.

Let's all remember this line... (4, Interesting)

gothzilla (676407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846485)

Commenting on the case the FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell said, `the industry must adhere to certain consumer protection norms if the Internet is to remain an open platform for innovation.` He also gave a warning that the FCC will not allow companies to stifle innovation saying that the Commission `acted swiftly to ensure that Internet voice service remains a viable option for consumers`. I think that line might be brought up in the future...can you say broadcast flag?

Dupe within the article summary itself? (2, Funny)

licamell (778753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846492)

We've seen many dupes lately here on slashdot, so this is a welcome non-dupe, however, anyone else find it weird that in such a short summary there is essentially a dupe of the sentences from the article?

"According to PCPro, the FCC has handed out a $15,000 fine to Madison River Communications Corp for blocking access to VoIP calls. The action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks. The complaint was made to the FCC by two companies Vonage Holdings and Nuvia, which specialise in VoIP services. It appears that Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron was willing to act on his earlier tirade about VoIP blocking." From the article: "The action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks. Many of these companies see VoIP as a threat to their landline revenues as calls made over the internet can be made to anywhere in the world for the price of a local call."

Re:Dupe within the article summary itself? (1)

windowpain (211052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846584)

Yeah, when did this "From the article" stuff start? Did Zonk start it? It seems new and unslashdotty but then maybe I haven't been paying attention.

Re:Dupe within the article summary itself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846635)

...which specialise in VoIP services.

Not only that, but they didn't even have the decency to use the proper spelling of specialize. After all, the FCC is located in the US :-)

Eh? (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846497)

Ok this doesn't make any sense, why would the FCC do something nice unless someone was paying them off? conventional carriers need to secure infrastructures by either building them or renting bandwidth which of-course costs money, VoIP providers would seem to get allot of that bandwidth for free, of course the real end will occur when VoIP providers are not needed because everyone justs connects directly.

Just a thought.... (1)

AndyBassTbn (789174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846510)

I know the FCC regulates communications, so there is some authority for them here, but...

Isn't this sort of anti-competetive practice (and I do believe that is what the FCC's ruling stopped here, which is good) something more properly regulated by other federal/state entities? Maybe the SEC (for publicly held companies), or in civil courts under antitrust laws?

I just wonder why the FCC took care of this ... and if having the FCC - the same entity that seems to arbitrarily deem TV and radio shows "obscene" and/or "profane" and impose heavy fines as a result - regulate these matters is a good idea.

Re:Just a thought.... (1)

windowpain (211052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846556)

For better or for worse this is FCC's bailiwick. The SEC is concerned only with securities: stocks and bonds.

Are We Seeing the End of the PSTN? (2, Interesting)

windowpain (211052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846527)

I understand that ATT&T has pretty much abandoned circuit switching. Hasn't it already written off its entire circuit-switched physical plant?

This FCC decision lets ILECs know they dare not interfere with VOIP.

Quo Vadis?

When will the last circuit switched call in America be made? What will become of all that infrastructure? Or are reports of its death highly exaggerated?

But how is it seen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11846539)

I wonder if "The action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks" or if "The action is seen as a warning to other telcos not to prevent the growth of VoIP over their networks"

Can I complain to the FCC? Verizon blocks SMTP (3, Interesting)

hirschma (187820) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846579)

My girlfriend moved into a swanky building with broadband pre-installed.

One day, she can't send email anymore via an external server set up to allow relay after POP authentication. Verizon has blocked all outgoing SMTP because most of their users have become spam-spewing zombies. It was easier for them to do this rather than turn off individuals.

Seriously, can my girlfriend complain to the FCC about this? Or, because email isn't as easily monetized a service as VOIP, they simply won't care?

jh

Re:Can I complain to the FCC? Verizon blocks SMTP (3, Insightful)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846664)

Seriously, can my girlfriend complain to the FCC about this?

Maybe she should talk to verizon first. They probably have proxies set up for outbound traffic.

double standard or just bigger pockets (1)

felix the damned (846723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846581)

can someone explain why the FCC fined them (business) for blocking another (business) for essentially free phone calls while on the other hand bans cities from providing free internet access.?

The Hammer (1)

mrbaggs (864520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846593)

The FCC shoulda just dropped "The Hammer". Flush that ya #*@%!.

Are all the ISPs blocking Vonage now? (2, Funny)

ulcer_boy (675343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846639)

:P I'm actually guessing Vonage is completely down since multiple people can't ping them right now and my phone just gives me a busy tone when I dial a number. This is great, now I get to rely on Comcast, a Netgear Router, VOIP adapter, and vonage to be able to make a phone call....

Outside the FCC mandate (3, Interesting)

sxmjmae (809464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846641)

I think control of VoIP is outside the mandate of the FCC.

New companies that offer VoIP are not covered by the FCC. These are companyies are "common carriers" and protected by there laws.

You either have FCC regulation and the protection of the "common carriers" laws or your on your own. For example is you are VoIP company and not considered a "common carrier" then If someone uses VoIP for criminal reasons you could be considered part of the facilitator. Common Carrier status protects a carrier from legal liability for what it transports.

The legal liability of allowing someone who is 'legal liability' for what it transports to use your lines from which you are protected via the common carrier status has interesting consequences. For example: if a 3rd party VoIP provider (who is not regulated and is not Common Carrier) allows a kidnapper to make a ransom demand to through its VoIP line then over a common carrier lines then who is responsible?

Just becuase a company is protected by the Common Carrier status does not mean it should extend to the 3rd party VoIP provider who use there lines.

An very interesting legal point if the FCC is trying to make the Common Carriers accept 3rd party VoIP calls.

Allowing 3rd party VoIP providers to use Common Carrier lines puts unacceptable risk or damage upon the Common Carrier and hence they should be legally allowed refuse service to such parties.

And now Vonage is down (1)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11846648)

My vonage lines at home now do not work (with a fast-busy when I try to dial in), and I cannot connect to www.vonage.com from my office. Coincidence?
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