Can the Enhanced Service Provider exemption stay in place?

If the FCC is going to put Wireless in the same bucket as cable and wireline, should we expect that the Enhanced Service Provider exemption still applies?

On the Google Policy Blog Rick Whitt responds to the FCC letter from ATT regarding Google Voice. It is very pertinent to the discussion we are having on the Calliflower call tomorrow about Net Neutrality.

We could say the carriers are suffering from a little enhanced services envy, given the fact that Verizon wanted to be compared to Google at the last wall street conference they attended. In this case ATT wants to point out that GoogleVoice admits that because of tariff anomalies, it is not servicing the rural markets, but does not consider this their battle.

So Let’s see if we come to a common ground tomorrow, about what exactly the FCC is trying to accomplish.

Preparing for Today’s SquawkBox Call

If you are unaware every Thursday I run Squakbox on Calliflower talking about regulatory issues.
Jim Kohlenberger and about half of our known relationships are unable to participate in the discussions today.

Part of the reason is because Washington is a buzz with new regime planning.

So I am posting in my blog the important facts.

Here is the news of the week.


  • voted to approve the use of WhiteSpace
  • Approved the redistribution of wealth I mean assets between Sprint and Clearwire
  • Approved Alltel’s Tad and the Mr Wizard going to Veriizon Wireless
  • The Intercarrier Compensation discussion is in total disarray

California Voters approved taxing VoIP in Los Angeles County, Sacramento, and San Jose

Major changes in Senate have huge implications for us

  • Ted Stevens is probably history is some way one scenario is that he is replaced by Governor Palin, the other is a direct loss.  He is part of the reason the California laws can exist
  • Sununu author of the VoIP Regulatory Freedom Act (2004)
  • Commerce Committee loses Senator Smith and keeps McCain (but will not be the leader)

2)    Here are the speculations

  • FCC Chairmanship has another of candidates the democrats, Commissioners Copps, and Adelstein have been mentioned as well as Lawrence Strickling who is working for Obama already.  Also mentioned are Blair Levin, Don Gips, and Julius Genachowski.
  • Commerce committee chairmanship will probably be Senator Rockefeller but Byrd and Inouye are also speculated.
  • Strong belief that Obama is going to include a Broadband Policy in the economic stimulus strategy.

So that’s the news.  Lets See what else we know about on the call.

Don’t be a POTS! Innovate!

If free is dead, in what plight can VoIP compete?

Next week in Chicago, I am going to present on the “Apps Gap.”  The sally of the presentation is that VoIP does not deserve its current fate.  Service providers are providing traditionary phone options that makes it as if they’re competing with common provide tied behind their back — how do you show presence on a POTS method?

Or they try to gain space adhering a $1000 computer that was not bought to replace a $10 handset. Worse hitherto, soft phones put a handset look and handle on the PC to really eliminate some trust the user sees innovation in advance of having one smaller set of buttons to punch.

Innovation is at a distance there, but you have to go looking on this account that it. The VON Coalition has found over 600 apps listed that they categorize as “Cool Tools” (the list is not yet public, but will be soon).  And the range of applications is extremely varying, from apps where presence rules, to Instant Messaging that includes voice, video and instant communication, as in a proper manner as multi-modal to PSTN connectors that connect your phone to the web – inbound and outbound.

Cool tools contain apps like the ingenuity to:

  • Voice enable your email or text your voice mail, or you can voice enable your blogs.
  • Social netting voice applications and tools for political activism.
  • Virtual assistants to reach you anywhere around the world.
  • Language transferrence applications to help you scheme others or learn their language.
  • Voice enabled widgets that let you think vaguely your message or avatars that purloin you.
  • Voice enabled games and animations and services that enable accessibility.
  • Mobile applications by reason of your cell phone and communications for your cameras.
  • Productivity tools for conferencing and collaboration and (of course)
  • Convergence for business on the PBX.

So talk up VoIP apps.

Use them to get humbler classes involved and thinking. Don’t let your family, your neighbor and especially your congressmen think that VoIP is blameless POTS through the Internet. Adopt one App today and tell me about it –

The reality is, we are in a dangerous period of regulatory concern. With economies in trouble, more taxes look like redemption to states through deficits, and VoIP that looks like POTS with a POTS requisition may spoil it for enhanced services from china to peru.

Regulators are looking to appoint taxes regardless of company revenues and may in addition require for VoIP services to be connected to emergency services or supplement the require to be paid of emergency services – unruffled admitting that the application is not a primary service. And these issues are not deserved in the US, they are worldwide.

Why is a VoIP tax this prominent? To gain market awareness, many applications developers have given their consequence away.  Some intend to stay free, others are being offered as exempt for a limited duration of one’s life. If the current regulatory mindset continues, it behest cost also a great deal of to move free apps.

Thursdays, I moderate a call on the Calliflower conferencing site with Jim Kohlenberger, Executive Director of the VON Coalition.  Please stop by and join us as we try to keep the Internet a voice-enabled environment.

Calliflower – Something to Squawk about

Iotum has done some very cool technology strategies and almost always at the core has been the idea of contextual communication.

Their latest service in this space is called Calliflower and it is in keeping with that model.

For sometime now Alec Saunders has been doing an event on Facebook called Squawk Box. Unlike its CNBC equivalent its been an user participating discussion. While the conference call is going on the chat is active and the group is in full participation.

Those capabilities are now migrating out of Facebook into a Web 2.0 service aimed for small businesses.

Want to hear more… Listen to podcast with Alec Saunders. or better yet listen to Squawk Box or best of all go to and try it.