Washington

Congress Asked To Preempt State VOIP Regulation

AT&T, Google, others push for law giving exclusive federal jurisdiction 12/02/2009 10:15:00 AM Eastern

AT&T and Google are on the same page when it comes to opposing state regulation of voice over IP services.

In a letter to top legislators, those two, joined by Microsoft, Verizon and others, asked Congress to establish in law that all IP services, if they are regulated at all, should be subject to exclusive federal jurisdiction rather than subject to a "patchwork" of "legacy state telecommunications regulation" that would discourage innovation.

They argue that the FCC has already said regulation should be on the federal level in its 2000 Vonage decision finding that VoIP is interstate and subject to the FCC's exclusive jurisdiction, signaling that it would reach the same conclusion about cable and other VoIP service.

"Despite the FCC's clearly expressed intent to bring regulatory certainty to VoIP service," they say, "there continue to be proposals that would permit state regulation, ultimately hurting IP-enabled Internet communications providers and their customers."

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