Blogged by Blackberry:
Commissioner Susan Kennedy gave an entertaining talk this morning and mentioned how VoIP erases everything we know about regulation. In the past we focused from a regulatory perspective on things like the length of copper and whether is something a telecom or information service.
These lines are the user manual for regulation. VoIP blurs these lines and regulators are scared about losing power.
Taxes on telecom services are up to 30 percent per bill.
22 billion dollars in tax revenue will be lost if we move 100% to VoIP.
40% of USF funding will be gone as we move to VoIP.
The FCC has stepped in to stop states from regulating VoIP. State regulators will continue to try to regulate VoIP looking for parity between PSTN and VoIP providers.
"Don’t assume the Vonage decision protects you from state regulation." Kennedy said. Intercarrier compensation is going to be very messy and rural carriers will be trying to get revenue via subsidies. VoIP providers are going to potentially be saddled with huge fees. Where do we go to deal with these issues?
Kennedy thinks we need to overhaul the telecom act. The USF funding issue will demand more money is paid by legacy providers. This will drive more people to VoIP.
Congress will not allow the USF to go away.
We need to deal with it or be saddled with huge fees and no subsidies like the wireless industry. She believes the FCC should address these issues. Regulators should be fearless in ensuring competition.
For example phone companies in mega-mergers need to ensure we can buy naked DSL. She believes that competitive markets will allow naked DSL to be sold due to competitive pressure.
Full transcript of Susan Kennedy speech.