Looks like the FCC’s attempt to clarify the legal environment for voice over IP is having exactly the opposite effect.
This is what happens when a regulator tries to take half-steps at a time when bold action is required. The reality is that the telecom industry is being tranformed before our eyes. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is absolutely right to believe that social policy obligations like law enforcement access and emergency access (911) shouldn’t go away, simply because the technology changes. But by trying to stuff VOIP into rules designed for old-fashioned telecom, he’s just going to harm competition and innovation. A better approach would be to look at how VOIP could facilitate achievement of social policy goals, but that means rethinking the entire regulatory edifice.