FCC Enforces Net Freedom In VoIP Port Block Case

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Greg Galitzine

FCC Enforces Net Freedom In VoIP Port Block Case

Looks like the FCC is showing that it has teeth after all when it comes to its stance on VoIP… Under Michael Powell’s leadership, the Commission reached a consent decree whereby Madison River Communications will make a $15,000 voluntary contribution to the U.S. Treasury  in response to that company’s blocking of Vonage VoIP ports. 

That sentence might also read "The FCC slapped Madison River with a $15,000 fine for screwing with consumers' rights to access the services of the VoIP provider of their choosing."

But that's not the way it read in the press
release I received last night:


FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell Commends Swift Action to Protect Internet Voice Services

The Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission reached a $15,000 consent decree today with Madison River Communication, LLC that will ensure uninterrupted Internet voice service on the company’s network.

“We saw a problem, and we acted swiftly to ensure that Internet voice service remains a viable option for consumers,” said FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell.

According to the terms of the consent decree, Madison River commits that it will refrain from blocking VOIP traffic and ensure that such blocking will not recur.   The company will pay a contribution of $15,000 to the United States Treasury to settle this matter.

“The industry must adhere to certain consumer protection norms if the Internet is to remain an open platform for innovation” said Powell.

Powell has laid out his vision of “Internet Freedom,” a series of principles by which any company that intentionally breaks a consumer’s connection to the Internet violates the openness that consumers have come to expect. 

“In my view, the surest way to preserve ‘Net Freedom’ is to handle these issues in an enforcement context where hypothetical worriers give way to concrete facts and — as we have shown today — real solutions,” said Powell.



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