Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pulver Blasts FCC E911 Order for Discouraging Innovation

Jeff Pulver, CEO of and founder of Free World Dialup (FWD), the VON Coalition, LibreTel and other VoIP industry endeavors, blasted the FCC's E911 order for its failure to prohibit port blocking as a means of addressing emergency responses.

"The FCC had a golden opportunity to take one positive steps to promote IP- based communications. The FCC could have prohibited "port blocking" and compelled direct access to the ILEC-controlled emergency response infrastructure. Instead, the FCC chose to regulate the previously unregulated, and declined to regulate those that it has obvious authority to regulate -- the traditional telecom carriers. As it stands, unaffiliated VoIP providers are left to the mercy or goodwill of their retail rivals -- the telecom carriers that control access to the emergency response network. The FCC has given lip-service to its desire to prohibit port blocking and has been looking for a vehicle to do so. A proceeding fell into its lap, and the FCC abdicated its responsibility on this issue," wrote Jeff Pulver.

Pulver argues that IP technology could allow for functions far beyond the capabilities of traditional communications networks, but that the FCC needs to encourage innovators to experiment and push the limits of IP technology. "If regulators tell the industry to provide nationwide E911 for nomadic VoIP services, without simultaneously compelling fair access by unaffiliated VoIP providers to selective routers and prohibiting port blocking, how can they expect us to accomplish their mission? Make excessive demands on the never-before-regulated and most-vulnerable new start-ups, but don't dare impose any access obligation on the traditionally regulated entities, the only ones with the essential infrastructure? I don't get it."


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