Internet phone providers have won the first round in a clash with state regulators, providing needed momentum for the upstart industry.
In ruling from the bench late Tuesday, Minneapolis, Minn., federal Judge Michael J. Davis permanently barred Minnesota from applying traditional telephone rules to Vonage, a pioneer in technology that lets consumers bypass the traditional phone network by making voice calls over a broadband connection. A written order explaining the court’s rationale is expected by Friday, according to the Minneapolis court clerk’s office. (full story)
My spin: This is a dicey issue. On one hand – Vonage and others are indeed telephone companies and should be regulated like any other. But on the other hand a) do we want to stifle competition b) this is simply data over the ‘net unlike the infrastructure that traditional phone lines use
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