Thursday, February 10, 2005

Nuvio Speaks out Against VoIP Tax in Kansas

Jason Talley, president and CEO of Nuvio, testified in opposition to proposed taxation of VoIP providers for 911 service by the State Legislature of Kansas. The proposed state bill would require VoIP service providers to contribute to the Kansas Universal Service Fund (KUSF).

In addition to being contrary to recent FCC rulings, Nuvio asserts that requirements for traditional 911 service are technologically impossible for VoIP. There are significant barriers to service implementation including call origination traceability and access to public safety answering points (PSAP).

"Kansas' attempt to tax VoIP for 911 completely ignores what the FCC has done and is continuing to do in its analysis and rulemaking concerning VoIP," commented Jason Talley. "In the FCC's preemption of the Minnesota Vonage Order, the FCC clearly indicates that 911 requirements and capabilities will be addressed by the FCC in its pending IP-Enabled Services Proceeding. The FCC has already exerted federal jurisdiction over this matter.

"Kansas is rushing to legislate without adequate investigation into the technology and current federal preemption. This tax will only fund wireless and wireline customers, and does nothing to enable 911 for VoIP customers.

"Make no mistake about it, this bill is the opening salvo in legislation to stifle and eliminate a technology that is bringing choice and features to customers in order to easily fulfill funding shortfalls from other programs. This is tantamount to taxing email to support the U.S. Postal System."

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