Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Vonage Broadband VoIP service provider

FCC requires some broadband and VoIP Providers to accommodate wiretaps

September 26, 2005

I must have missed the FCC's announcement 3 days ago that the FCC was going to require certain broadband and VoIP Providers to accommodate wiretaps. The 59-page FCC report is a bit lengthy for me to digest today, so maybe I'll provide a more detailed analysis tomorrow.

A quick speed read seems to indicate the FCC is going to force Internet providers to accomodate wiretaps, but that doesn't include cafes or hotels that use or pay for Internet service. I guess the FCC is targetting the main ISPs and not resellers of Internet service. Here's a very interesting excerpt that sums up who is covered by CALEA wire-tapping rules:

We conclude that CALEA applies to providers of “interconnected VoIP services.” As defined in our recent VoIP E911 Order,107 interconnected VoIP services include those VoIP services that: (1) enable real-time, two-way voice communications; (2) require a broadband connection from the user’s location; (3) require IP-compatible customer premises equipment; and (4) permit users to receive calls from and terminate calls to the PSTN.108 We find that providers of interconnected VoIP services satisfy CALEA’s definition of “telecommunications carrier” under the SRP and that CALEA’s Information Services Exclusion does not apply to interconnected VoIP services.

Vonage's 9-3-3 service

September 22, 2005

Vonage rolled out their 9-3-3 service which is simply a verification of whether or not you've enabled 9-1-1 on your Vonage line. This way you don't have to dial 9-1-1 and see if the police/fire/ambulance show up at your door and then blame your 3-year old kid for dialing 911. Excerpt from the release announcing the news:

TeleCommunication Systems (TCS), a global leader in mission critical communications, today announced that Vonage, a leading provider of broadband phone service, is the first Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider to utilize TCS' recently introduced VoIP Verify™ service. Designed for mobility, VoIP Verify provides Vonage subscribers with a simple tool to determine the availability and extent of the individual's emergency services coverage from the caller's current registered location.

Earthlink launches trueVoice a national broadband VoIP service

September 21, 2005

You didn't really think Earthlink was going to sit idly by while AOL launched a national VoIP service did you? I didn't think so. Actually, it's poor timing by Earthlink to launch if you ask me considering their competitor, AOL, just launched the other day. I'm not a marketing guy, but if you ask me, they really should spread out these announcements from their competitors as to not get lost with all the other important news.

Vonage one million lines, huh?

September 6, 2005

Vonage has reached the "1 million line" landmark. This is a vague choice of words. When I link of "lines" I think of trunk lines or at least physical lines and not customers. It's doubtful Vonage truly has 1 million physical "lines" into their facility.

VoIP spells doom for calling card business?

September 1, 2005

I haven't used a calling card since my parents gave me one for college (to avoid my college's exorbitant per/minute fees), and I would have figured with unlimited cell phone plans, unlimited broadband VoIP plans (Vonage, Lingo, etc.), as well as software applications such as Skype, Gizmo, and now Google Talk that calling cards were so passe. Who needs calling cards, (including both post-paid and pre-paid calling cards) when you have so many competitive options that offer inexpensive calling, right? I mean really, who wants to dial a an 11-digit access number then remember their calling card account number (or pull it out of their wallet/purse) and then enter the destination number as well as their PIN?

Well apparently, even with so many phone options these days, each vying for the same "limited" phone minute pie, there is still a huge market for calling cards.

Cisco IP Phone 7985G Videophone

August 26, 2005

Cisco has a new Color IP VideoPhone called the Cisco IP Phone 7985G Videophone coming to market that until now has been kept under top-secret wraps. According to the interim spec I received from an insider, it makes no mention of SIP, so you'll probably need Cisco CallManager to get all the bells and whistles working. Just what we need another proprietary videophone. <sigh> I hope they'll eventually take my advice and make all these videophones interoperate.

FCC extends e911 deadline again!

August 26, 2005

BREAKING News! As I predicted, the FCC would extend the deadline. The FCC said the deadline would be extended to Sept. 28 for the providers to get their acknowledgments. If by that time a provider still has not received confirmation from a customer, then the FCC said the companies should disconnect a customer's regular Internet phone service, but could still allow emergency calls to be made.

Uhh, so now the FCC is asking the VoIP providers to allow 911 to be dialed but to block any other number?

FCC e911 - Countdown to VoIP Armageddon

August 25, 2005

The FCC extended the e911 deadline once already with its due date now August 29th - that's four days away. That's this Monday! IP Inferno reminded me with today's blog post (been having Google Talk on the brain I guess).

I've written about this impending e911 deadline several times in the past. In fact, I predicted the deadline extension what I wrote, "My guess is there will be some sort of extension to the deadline if the VoIP providers can prove that hundreds if not thousands of customers still haven't acknowledged the e911 rules.

Rich's take on the Vonage IPO

August 25, 2005

Vonage IPO

August 25, 2005

Vonage is reportedly preparing for an IPO according to the WSJ.

According to the WSJ, Vonage is planning an initial public offering to raise as
much as $600 million. According to the article, "Citing a person familiar with the matter, the newspaper said Vonage had already raised more than $400 million in venture capital from firms
that include Bain Capital, 3i Group Plc and Institutional Venture Partners... There was no immediate comment from the Edison, New Jersey-based company, which declined comment to the Journal."

Two major VoIP news in the last few days - first Google Talk and now Vonage? This is a BIG week for VoIP!

Makes you wonder if Google Talk was the "spark" that made Vonage start the IPO ball rolling now.

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