The VON Coalition
tell the FCC to protect your voice

Rural phone companies want to take away your freedom to speak.  They have been actively lobbying the FCC and filing petitions that would have the effect of limiting the way you can speak and be heard on the Internet.  They are on the verge of convincing the FCC (who is poised to vote on November 4th) of putting a toll booth and time clock on the Internet in order to subsidize these rural phone companies. For free services, that aren't charging you for the services, increasing fees by as much as 20 times will likely make them uneconomic and eliminate many of these innovative services just now emerging on the Internet. Why should a meter run on the Internet?

These proposals ask the FCC to increase fees on VoIP services and eliminate the pro-growth pro-innovation policy (called the ESP exemption) that for 20 years have kept per-minute access charges off the Internet. Some rural phone companies amazingly claim that VoIP services like voice blogs and talking avatars compete with their home phone services and are getting a "free ride" when they connect with their phone network. These arguments ignore the facts that phone companies are already compensated for use of their networks, and that Interconnected VoIP users already pay twice what traditional phone users pay to subsidize rural phone customers through a program called the Universal Service Fund.  See what the VON Coalition, the Open Internet Coalition, and Google have to say about efforts to eliminate the "ESP exemption" in order to apply per minute fees to Internet communications.

Tell the FCC to protect you ability to speak, to use new and transformative VoIP tools, and keep per-minute fees off the Internet. 

You must act now because the FCC is poised to vote on this proposal November 4th.

Its about whether you will have access to the innovative new features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer, or whether your voice will be limited to the phone services of the past. Stand up and fight for your freedom to speak!

Note: Information filed on this form will be publicly available, as FCC comments are considered a matter of public record. The FCC does not accept comments from outside the United States.

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You are filing a comment on proceeding 08-8 (Embarq Petition), and 01-92 (Developing a Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime.) More information from the FCC on intercarrier compensation issues can be found at Read about the consensus plan for compehensive reform supported by the VON Coalition and other industry leaders.