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FCC 'Frees' Free World Dialup VoIP Service
The Federal Communications Commission took a baby step forward in Voice over Internet Protocol regulation today, by ruling
that the Free World Dialup service was not subject to traditional voice-service regulations.
While proponents of VoIP were quick to hail the decision as a move toward keeping the technology free of regulation, FCC chairman Michael Powell and other commissioners made it clear that more-robust VoIP services that connect to the circuit-switched voice networks may be subject to the regulations and fees imposed on existing voice services.
"While IP-enabled services should remain free from traditional monopoly regulation, rules designed to ensure law enforcement access, universal service, disability access, and emergency 911 service can and should be preserved in the new architecture," said Powell in a statement.
In separate actions Thursday, the commission announced the first Internet policy working group "solutions summit," part of an ongoing public-debate period that the commission would use to help it decide how it might apply discrete regulatory requirements where necessary.
"We will be asking leaders in the law-enforcement, first-responder and disabled communities to come together to talk about creative ways to address some of these issues," Powell said in a statement. The first summit, scheduled for March 18, will focus on how emergency 911 services can be implemented in VoIP applications.
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