FCC on Rural VoIP

This morning I was scouring the TMC FCC news page and I came across an FCC ruling which is helpful to the VoIP market. The story was written by InfoWorld Daily. Don’t I have something better to do on a Saturday morning? Apparently not. But back to the story — the Federal Communications Commission has mandated that rural telecom providers must connect VoIP calls.

Since the kids were asleep I even had a chance to see Russell Shaw’s take on his regulation blog.

It is great to see positive VoIP news come out of the FCC and this ruling is obviously pro-consumer. Thank you Chairman Martin and the other commissioners for allowing this to happen.

If you peel back a skin-deep layer here it is obvious that telcos around the world see VoIP as a threat. Of course blocking VoIP is something many of us think only happens in third world countries. This sort of action just shows you to what extent IP communications have leveled the telecom playing field and why it is crucial our government continues to support the evolution of new technologies which have the ability to produce competition where none has existed before.

After all, the government has spent years trying to foster a competitive telecom landscape and the task was very difficult to pull off. Then along comes a technology invented in Israel that changed the face of global communications and amplified competition manyfold. It is quite astounding.

Of course I feel for the rural telco who doesn’t want to lose money but I also know the technology exists for these players to provide wireless broadband and VoIP in other geographic areas if they so choose. In other words the same technologies which reduce their margins can also be used to win new customers.

Service providers need to constantly survey the landscape of technologies and opportunities to ensure they aren’t left behind as the world evolves. Remember, no matter how rural your area is or how poor your country is – if you are the phone company, competition is here and if it isn’t, it is coming blazingly fast. All telcos need to learn how to become nimble and how to develop new services people will pay for.

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