Feeds

Baby Bells argue for IP phone charges

Exploiting loophole

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.