Fun_People Archive
9 Jul
FCC To Leave Net Telephony Unregulated

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue,  9 Jul 96 10:38:22 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: FCC To Leave Net Telephony Unregulated

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 FCC To Leave Net Telephony Unregulated
 By Will Rodger

 A recent speech prepared by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed
 Hundt suggests the FCC may take a hands-off attitude towards the Internet
 for the foreseeable future.

 In an address to the INET '96 conference in Montreal, Hundt, through FCC
 Chief of Staff Blair Levin, told attendees he was not inclined to slow the
 progress of telephony over the Internet in any way, despite pressure from
 some quarters to do so.

 Echoing arguments of voice-over-the-Net advocates, Hundt said he couldn't
 "imagine that we would have the time to keep track of all the bits passing
 over the Internet to separate the 'acceptable' data packets from the
 'unacceptable' data packets."

 Even though long-distance calls over the Internet cost only a tiny fraction
 of conventional long-distance calls, making calls over the Net involves
 real tradeoffs in terms of quality and convenience, Hundt said.

 The America's Carriers Telecommunication Association recently petitioned
 the FCC to regulate Internet telephony. Major long-distance companies, who
 are themselves providing Internet services, have opposed the petition.

 The FCC chairman also said even though some local telephone companies have
 proposed that Internet access providers should pay access charges like
 other users of local telephone networks, it is not clear that those
 subsidies are logical in a market that is supposed to encourage

 "I'm inclined to believe our best guidance is to let technology,
 competition and access reform make the problem go away," Hundt said.

 The FCC can be reached at

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