VoIP: Something Else For The FCC To Screw Up


Well-Known Member
As much as I don't like/mistrust the Federal Communications Commission, I was happy to see the Commissioners affirm that, yes, VoIP calls should be subject to wiretaps just like wireline and wireless conversations. Now that it's got this one right, I hope the Commission can avoid turning VoIP into the mess the rest of the telecom industry has become.
There is a fine balance between holding back VoIP to prop-up existing telephone companies and allowing new VoIP companies to litter the landscape with vanquished “old technology” competitors. Part of finding this balance will require the FCC to determine what VoIP implementation will do to our national telecom infrastructure.
Is the Internet secure and stable enough to carry our voice calls as well as out data? Or are we better off with the two being transmitted over “separate” networks? That's something I want to research, think about a bit, and get back to you on.
Looking at what the FCC has done with wireless and the break-up of AT&T, I really doubt the Commission will get VoIP regulation right. We have second-rate wireless compared to Europe and Asia and we'd be better off if AT&T had been left alone. (Yes, I know the AT&T mess wasn't entirely the FCC's doing).
Part of the problem is that the FCC panders to the industries it's supposed to regulate with little regard for what's best for consumers. (Hint: “More competition” is not the universal answer). All too often, the FCC confuses what's right for America with what's right for individual American businesses. And defaults to serving the latter.