Monday, November 15, 2004

SBC Plans Full-Scale VoIP Service Rollout in 2005

SBC Communications announced plans for a full-scale, consumer VoIP service rollout in early 2005. The service will use a DSL Internet connection not only voice calling but also other enhanced features, such as a Web-based portal and advanced call- management capabilities. The feature set will include "find me," "do not disturb," click-to-call, voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID and three-way calling. A trial is currently underway in Los Angeles.

SBC said recent FCC decisions have encouraged to accelerate its investment in IP services. In particular, SBC citing the recent FCC ruling that found VoIP to be an interstate service that is not subject to a patchwork of state-by-state regulations.

"It is important that federal, state and local authorities keep the road clear so that this technology can reach consumers faster. The fact that we are accelerating our investment to bring new technologies to the market more quickly shows how good policies can deliver good results to consumers," said Randall Stephenson, SBC chief operating officer.

  • Earlier this month, the FCC ruled that Vonage's broadband telephony service is not subject to traditional state public utility regulation and asserted its federal authority over VoIP. The ruling found that the VoIP service cannot practically be separated into intrastate and interstate components, precluding dual state and federal regulatory regimes. The FCC reasoned that efforts by the Minnesota public utilities commission, or other such state agencies, could impede the rollout of VoIP.


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