Feeds

Baby Bells argue for IP phone charges

Exploiting loophole

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.