Federal Communications Commission comes to the rescue of Vonage

Federal Communications Commission comes to the rescue

U.S. Federal Communications Commission has come to the rescue of VoIP based telephony users. They have ruled against Madison River Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Madison River Telephone Company LLC and told them not to block ports used for VOIP applications or otherwise prevent customers from using VOIP applications. This can be considered a major victory for VoIP companies as they can use this case as a reference for any future battles against the traditional telephony companies who might try to stop the emergence of telephony over Internet.

The victim in this case was the much in news VoIP Company Vonage Holdings Corp. they lodged a complaint against the telecom company who was blocking Voice-over-IP Internet phone calls for some of its customers who were using Vonage. Chairman of the FCC Michael Powell slapped a fine of USD 15000 over the Madison River Communications for this offense.

He spoke to the media about this particular case: “The industry must adhere to certain consumer protection norms if the Internet is to remain an open platform for innovation.” Market analysts predict that the VoIP market will nearly triple its subscriber base in 2005 with 2.8 million customers with more enterprise users moving onto it from traditional telephones.

Vonage CEO Jeffrey A. Citron termed the blocking of their services by the telecom companies as a form of censorship. The customers who were being blocked by the telecom company who have now refused to comment on the ruling had no ability to make calls, even to emergency 911 services during the period of blocked services.

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