Wednesday, February 28, 2007

FCC Clarifies VoIP-PSTN Interconnection Rules

The FCC granted a petition from Time Warner petition that clarifies rules of how voice traffic can be exchanged between broadband providers and the PSTN. By granting the petition, the FCC affirmed that competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) are entitled to interconnect with incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) pursuant to section 251 of the Telecommunications Act for the purpose of exchanging traffic on behalf of VoIP-based service providers.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin stated: "Our decision will enhance consumers' choice for phone service by making clear that cable and other VoIP providers must be able to use local phone numbers and be allowed to put calls through to other phone networks."

Jim Kohlenberger, Executive Director of VON Coalition, stated "The VON Coalition applauds today's FCC decision to answer the call for voice competition by ensuring that voice traffic can be exchanged between broadband and telephone networks. The FCC was right to find that states cannot unilaterally twist the meaning of the Telecom Act to hang up on broadband enabled voice competition. Today's decision helps ensure that millions more American consumers can take advantage of power and potential of Internet based communications. The problems that Time Warner faced in South Carolina and Nebraska were not isolated, they threatened the competitive availability of VoIP services overall, and they effectively created "digital divides" between those Americans who can enjoy the full potential of broadband and those who cannot."

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