Feeds

Baby Bells argue for IP phone charges

Exploiting loophole

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The Baby Bells are flexing their muscles to compete with nifty competitors that do not enjoy the Babies' semi-regulated monopoly.

Among the recent moves are US West's intention, recently confirmed, to levy long-distance telephone charges on Internet telephony. US West's defence is that its rivals are exploiting a regulatory loophole. The Internet telephony providers should be subject to the same FCC control as the Baby Bells, it argues.

Bell South put its toe in the water a couple of weeks ago with a similar decision, which has evidently encouraged US West to follow suit. Other operators will doubtless follow suit.

The FCC has yet to make a decision, although chairman William Kennard remarked that the two types of service were "virtually indistinguishable". Clearly he hasn't tried Internet telephony very much, or he'd notice a significant difference in quality. Here's a case where tariffs for data and voice are so different that market forces could provide a most effective mechanism for rationalising the market, and reduce long-distance charges. If the FCC supports the Babies on this one, the next development by the Babies could well be to charge for local calls where these are free at present. This would stop so many Americans remaining online virtually all day.

Bell Atlantic has done a different kind of deal with IP telephony wholesaler ITXC Corp by agreeing to accept IP traffic from ITXC's international Internet calls and terminate them with its own network, for a fee. This is likely to result in better quality calls. ITXC was founded by Tom Evslin, former head of AT&T's WorldNet, who, with VocalTec, funded his start-up. Today, Bell Atlantic starts selling its direct-broadcast satellite service in the Washington DC region. This will compete with cable operators and offer hundreds of channels of programmes. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.