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February 29, 2004

VoIP's Giant Hurdles

The Federal Communications Commission on Feb. 12 let Voice over Internet Protocol take one small step forward. The FCC essentially recognized that voice data can't be distinguished from e-mail, instant messaging and other computer applications. But the giant leap for Internet telephony awaits more additional information gathering and rulemaking by the agency.

As Robert Atkinson, formerly with the FCC and now policy director of the Institute for Teleinformation at Columbia University put it, "The idea of two people talking to each other on computer doesn't matter much."

What does matter is if voice becomes instantaneous and transferable over all sorts of devices over all kinds of networks -- computers, cell phones, pdas, and regular old telephones.

That's what opens the way to a host of new programs and applications and communications advances. (..)

But even in the friendliest of federal hands, two big hurdles could block VoIP from truly transforming the face of communications.

One is access charges for interconnections and universal service. And in addition to the economic hurdle, there also is a technical one which is actually connected to wiretapping as a primary tool for law enforcement.

By Duane D. Freese TCS: Tech Central Station [where free markets meet technology]

[Smart Mobs]
Posted by Stuart, February 29, 2004 07:19 PM | Trackback Link (http://www.henshall.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/619)
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