Freedom2Speak.org Launched

Jim Kohlenberger has shared this information with me.  Included in this site which highlights the innovation of VoIP is the ability to petition to keep VoIP as an enhanced service.

With the FCC poised to vote November 4th on a key decision that will impact the future of Internet communication, today VoIP leaders are launching a new voice activated web site and online campaign to educate consumers and policymakers about the power and potential of VoIP:  www.freedom2speak.org

An incredible transformation is making its way across the Internet — helping to bring voice to the net. These innovative Internet voice applications are changing the way we communicate, stay connected to our friends, family and colleagues. Together these technologies have the potential to deliver extraordinary new benefits.

We want to introduce you to some of the exciting new voice tools now just emerging. This new web site contains nearly 300 different cool tools — each unique — that are stretching the horizon of voice on the net.

But the future of some of these exciting technologies is not all assured. There are an unfortunate set of policy proposals by special interests that could limit your ability to speak and be heard on the Internet. And that’s why we’re asking you to get involved. Stand up — speak up — and fight for your freedom to speak on the Internet!

The web site:

1.    Highlights the amazing things that are happening when voice is integrated with the Internet.  Providing examples of nearly 300 innovative new voice enabled tools that are emerging on the Internet. These voice enabled Internet applications are giving voice to blogs, connecting friends together on MySpace and Facebook, empowering people on the campaign trail, transforming video games, integrating voice and video into instant messaging, allowing one telephone number to reach all your phones at once, ushering in a new era of voice recognition based information retrieval tools, integrating click to dial functionality into mapping and other web sites, and doing things never before possible.

2.    Demonstrates the extraordinary benefits that VoIP enabled tools can deliver.  The site includes a state by state map of benefits; highlights the broader benefits for consumers, the economy, the environment, homeland security, etc.; and provides examples of exciting and beneficial ways the technology is being put to use.  For example, at a time when families are struggling to pay their bills, VoIP enabled competition is poised to save consumers an astounding $110 billion over the next 5 years.

3.    Enables users to take specific actions to protect their freedom to speak on the net.  The FCC is poised to vote on November 4th on a key decision that will impact the future of these technologies.  The site describes key policy issues that could impact the growth of these technologies, and gives people the ability to take specific actions to protect their freedom to speak on the Internet.  With just a few clicks, the site allows users to file comments at the FCC or talk directly with policymakers.  Its critical because some proposals could subject voice enabled web sites to a patchwork of potentially conflicting state rules, or reverse key policies that would apply per minute fees to Internet commutations and voice enabled web sites.

4.    Using the medium as the message.  Voice enabled tools are incorporated throughout the site, including into voice blogs, a virtual VoIP debate between Obama and McCain, a tool to call members of Congress, and a voice broadcast tool tell their friends about the site.

VoIP is not another flavor of telephone service.  It’s a new frontier in communications for individuals and businesses alike, and it requires forward-thinking regulatory approaches.  If policymakers reflexively subject these new voice enabled Internet tools to yesterday’s telephone regulations without first understanding the variety of tools emerging, consumers and business users could miss out on the new services, increased choices and new ways to communicate that VoIP can deliver.

Jim Kohlenberger
Executive Director
The Voice on the Net Coalition

About the VON Coalition:
The Voice on the Net or VON Coalition consists of leading VoIP companies, on the cutting edge of developing and delivering voice innovations over Internet. The coalition, which includes AT&T, BT Americas, CallSmart, Cisco, CommPartners, Covad, EarthLink, Google, iBasis, i3 Voice and Data, Intel, Microsoft, New Global Telecom, PointOne, Pulver.com, Skype, T-Mobile USA, USA Datanet, and Yahoo!  works to advance regulatory policies that enable Americans to take advantage of the full promise and potential of VoIP. The Coalition believes that with the right public policies, Internet based voice advances can make talking more affordable, businesses more productive, jobs more plentiful, the Internet more valuable, and Americans more safe and secure. Since its inception, the VON Coalition has promoted pragmatic policy choices for unleashing VoIP’s potential. http://www.von.org

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