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Vonage Complaining Of VoIP 'Blocking'

BOULDER, Colo. -- Leading Voice over IP service provider Vonage Holdings has complained to the Federal Communications Commission that competitors are blocking the use of its service, according to FCC chairman Michael Powell and others close to the company.

"We're very actively on this case and we are taking it pretty seriously," said Powell, during an interview Monday here at the Silicon Flatirons conference. In a speech at the conference Sunday, Stanford law professor Larry Lessig said that Vonage has been telling the FCC that other service providers are hampering Vonage's VoIP service by "blocking" it from reaching certain SIP addresses for end-user devices.

According to Powell, his understanding is that the blocking is not coming from major service providers, but from rural Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). Brooke Schulz, Vonage's senior vice president for corporate communications, said Monday that the company would not comment on the report.

(UPDATE: The company has now confirmed the report; click here for the latest story.)

Reports of other providers using networking techniques to block competitors' VoIP services have surfaced before, but none have involved Vonage or major U.S. service providers.

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