February 14, 2005 4:50 PM PST

Vonage says broadband provider blocks its calls

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Internet phone provider Vonage said it's asked U.S. utility regulators to investigate allegations that a "major" broadband operator is deliberately blocking Internet phone calls.

Any investigation and its findings will add more tension to the relationships between providers of high-speed Internet and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), software that lets Internet connections double as inexpensive phone lines.

Vonage recently met with Federal Communications Commission representatives, said Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Schulz, to discuss an instance of "egregious, alarming and harmful port blocking." Port blocking is when Internet providers prevent traffic of certain kinds from traveling through their Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

Schulz confirmed earlier accounts of the complaint reported by Advanced IP Pipeline. She would not identify the operator or the FCC officials involved in the discussion. An FCC spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

This isn't the first time a VoIP operator has complained to the FCC about possible predatory practices by broadband providers that also sell their own version of VoIP service. In September, Nuvio, a Net phone service provider, asked federal regulators to ensure broadband providers that also sell phone services don't engage in predatory practices to stifle competition.

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Vonage takes the Big Boiz to task
I am going to follow this one; the same thing happened when the ISPs began to offer high speed service. I used to work for an ISP that had telco employees issuing false cancellations, filing "Technically Not Feasible" reports, etc. It could have been incompetence, but on the other hand, it looked suspiciously like they were trying to keep all for themselves. Customers would call and say that the telco offered to have them "up and running" in a few days, while it took us months in the earlies. Now, it's much better. But the VOIP situation seems strangely familiar...
Posted by (6 comments )
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Technically Not Feasible
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/acura_cl_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/acura_cl_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
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Incomplete story
Anita, great story yet it was incomplete on purpose.

Why did you deliberately leave out the name of the alleged offending ISP?

genethomas@att.net
Posted by genethomas2095 (10 comments )
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RE: Incomplete story
I merely expressed my perception of what was going on. Read my entry again.

It was not ISPs that I was talking about, it was telco's that decided to create ISPs themselves, putting them in natural competition with ISPs who were leasing the telco's facilities to provide net connections of all types, particularly broadband, then an emerging technology.
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