New Telecom Bill

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New Telecom Bill

Rich Tehrani has an interesting take on pending telecom legislation that will affect broadband data and VoIP competition. Rich does a quick overview of the Senate legislation and includes PDFs of them as well. Check it out

Update: 5 min from post.
For those too busy to read through the long PDF documents, I thought I'd include an extract from the proposed legislation that relates to VoIP.

Section 7—Consumer Access to Content:
(e) ACCESS TO VOIP APPLICATIONS—This subsection provides that there is nothing in subsection (a) that permits a broadband service provider to prevent a customer from using a VOIP application offered by a competitor. VOIP access cannot be blocked

Can I get a hell ya?

Update #2: 2:49pm 7/27/05
Some analysis from Competitive Enterprise Institute Technology ..

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) this morning announced wide-ranging legislation that would modernize U.S. telecommunications law and eliminate regulatory disincentives to investment and economic growth.

“The Ensign bill is an important step toward reforming our outdated telecommunications law,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Technology Counsel Braden Cox. “It creates a more unified national approach for communications policy in broadband and video services that will encourage more rapid deployment of each. It also does a good job of separating basic telephone service, which is still mired in regulations that relate back to the AT&T monopoly era, from new Internet services where competition is heating up.”

The legislation would be the first major update to the nation’s telecom law since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, itself a regime which has long needed a Congressional overhaul. Today’s rules are based on regulatory distinctions that pre-date mass adoption of the Internet, and the assumptions behind them have been carried forward to the present even though they do not apply to today's communication networks.

“Advocates of deregulation could argue that it doesn’t go far enough to deregulate the industry,” continued Cox. “However, stripping away government regulation from the overregulated telecommunications sector will take time. This bill provides some relief to an industry that desperately needs it and keeps open the opportunity for future reform.”

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, visit

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