No sooner do I post my interconnection paper, than the FCC goes and proves my point. Yesterday, they issued an order requiring incumbent telephone companies to interconnection with wholesale providers carrying voice over IP calls.
Rural carriers were simply refusing the VOIP traffic, on the grounds that it isn’t a regulated “telecommunications service.” Another argument I’ve made for several years is that the FCC’s approach of treating Internet-based activities as crypto-unregulated “information services,” while justified early on, has outlived its usefulness. Pretending this stuff is still outside of the mainstream of communications does more harm than good. It’s becoming the mainstream.
And meanwhile, Skype’s recent petition for a “new Carterphone principle” requiring wireless carriers to support unaffiliated services on their handsets has appeared in the FCC electronic comment system.