Wednesday, November 10, 2004

ITU-T: Ruling from the FCC on VoIP and Commissioner Briefing on WTSA 

The ITU-T also notes the FCC ruling (with nice references to all relevant documents) and in addition mentions the briefing that took place on the same day for the Commission on the WTSA-04 results. I consider this also as an important input for the 7th meeting of the ITU Council Working Group on WSIS, 12-14 December 2004.

In an announcement (PDF) from the US Federal Communications Commission, they have ruled that they, not [US] state commissions, have the responsibility and obligation to decide whether certain regulations apply to IP-enabled services. The announcement notes that the FCC plans to "also address whether VoIP providers must provide access to the disabled, pay intercarrier compensation and contribute to the universal service fund, in the Commission’s IP Enabled Services Proceeding (PDF), which commenced in February of this year." The more detailed separate statements of Commissioners Powell (PDF), Abernathy (PDF), Copps (PDF) and Adelstein (PDF) provide insights into some of the policy and regulatory challenges they see vis-à-vis VoIP as well as IP-enabled services in general.

Announced on the same day is the briefing (PDF with accompanying text in Word) that the FCC's International Bureau made for the Commission on the recent ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly results.
  • "One of the major objectives of the United States, as well as the majority of the ITU membership, was to re-enforce the ITU as a leading global forum for developing standards for interoperability between today’s networks and those of the next generation."
  • "Going forward, the FCC team will work to make certain that the ITU and its membership stay focused on the benefits of new technologies and that any actions being considered will create an environment where innovative technologies can flourish. Specifically, we will focus on the following four activities:
  • first, engaging developing countries on achieving low-cost broadband and Internet connectivity;
  • second, capturing the momentum generated by the WTSA for developing standards for next generation networks by supporting the ITU as a place where industry-led network standards are produced;
  • third, focusing on the importance of making networks secure; and, finally,
  • ensuring that the Internet is not subject to inappropriate regulation."

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