Here is a WSJ article on this matter. Whether Michael Powell was good for the VoIP market or not is a question we will debate forever but what we know for sure is that a duopoly of cable companies and and ILECs remains as he steps down meaning the FCC is a VoIP champion but has instituted policies where ILECS, the companies that pretty much crippled or killed competitive DSL offerings and the CLEC market are now in the position to do the same with VoIP providers.
Michael Powell Steps Down
One thing is for sure, Powell was a public champion of VoIP and for this reason I am sad to see him go. Still, even though consumer prices for telephone services are plummeting, little credit for this accomplishment can go to government policies that helped wipe out billions of dollars of competitive telecom investments.
Still today, VoIP's future hinges more on potential litigation than cold hard realities of policies that truly foster competition. The government needs to immediately tell the VoIP industry where it stands on competition and how it will ensure there will be competition in broadband and VoIP. Every year the US slips further back in terms of broadband penetration when compared to other countries. The time has come for the government to decide if these are important issues to deal with... While we still may have time to claw our way back to the top ten broadband nations list.
If not, I shudder to think that the US will become the third world of Internet Connectivity. That may be where we are headed without adequate competition and rules in place to ensure competition cannot be sabotaged.