Help ensure a uniform national framework for Internet
Ensuring a uniform national framework for VoIP, helps ensure that
those services that substitute for a traditional phone services have
consistent levels of 911 access, privacy protection, universal service
support, from one jurisdiction to another -- without having to comply
with a patchwork of potential conflicting state and local rules.
It also helps ensure that new Internet communications technologies that
aren't substitutes for traditional phone services can continue to advance
consumer benefits under a single uniform national policy framework.
Tell the FCC that per minute fees don't belong on the Internet.
Rural phone companies want to apply per minute fees to Internet communication and, as a result, take away your freedom to speak. They have been actively lobbying the FCC and filing petitions to convince the FCC to put 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?
For example, one petition asks the FCC to increase fees on VoIP services and eliminate the pro-growth pro-innovation policies that for 20 years have kept per-minute access charges off the Internet. What does this mean? Well, if granted, it could
raise the costs as much as 20 times for connecting broadband voice users with their analog
counterparts – thus putting a toll booth on the digital transition and slowing broadband benefits.
For many of the innovative and often free services highlighted on this web site,
it could make the difference between whether the services can even
be economically offered to consumers. It should not be suprising that some rural phone companies like the idea of eliminating VoIP
These rural phone companies (like Embarq) 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 connected with their phone network. These arguments
ignore the facts that Embarq is already compensated for use of its
network, that Embarq gets a free ride for the calls that its users make to VoIP users, and that Interconnected VoIP users pay twice what Embarq
users pay to subsidize rural phone customers (including Embarq’s)
through a program called the Universal Service Fund. See what
VON Coalition, the
Open Internet Coalition, and
Google have to say about the petition and why they think it’s a bad idea.
Tell the FCC to keep per minute charges off the Internet and make sure the Embarq petition is NOT
granted and that access charge subsidy fees are not extended to Internet communication.
"Phantom Traffic" proposals - Tell the Senate not to let them block your voice.
Senators say your voice is a “phantom” and
want to allow phone companies to block or charge you extra for a web
originated call. Senator Stevens has introduced so called
“Phantom Traffic” legislation, and says rural phone companies should
be allowed to block your ability to use these voice tools because
sometimes they don’t have a telephone number associated with the web
site, button, or facebook application. Listen to what he says
here. Tell Senator Stevens and the others members of the Senate
Commerce Committee not to block your ability to speak and be heard.
See the VON Coalition’s
testimony. Act quickly because the Senate Commerce Committee
could vote on it any day.