The day Jeff Pulver would have spoken

If I were in Boston, we would be hearing about Social Networks and new ventures from Jeff Pulver, but I would want him to talk about the Pulver Order at risk.

To be clear no one in Washington is saying that the Pulver Order is at risk.
Imho, the Pulver Order, which I thought was redundant because of the Enhanced Service Provider exemption, is going to be isolated.
Here is a reminder of the background.  Back in the days when data communications was mostly dial up and before the Internet became commercial, companies like IBM ran the communications lines for their customers.  For some bell heads, this meant that the computer operators should be treated as telcos and subject to different rules.  The FCC decided that was not the goal and made the distinction that data networking, which almost always consisted of some storing of data in the network, or some change in the format in the network (have times changed!) was exempt from having to file tariffs, being treated like a telco since it was an enhanced service.
Decades later Jeff tells me he is filing this petition and I tell him he does not need it.
The Code of Federal Regulation [CFR] in 61.38 protects VoIP, but he files anyway.
At VON in describing what has been filed Bob Pepper (who is a PHD) is intrigued at the order and goes back to the FCC.  The petition becomes an order, but it shakes my world.  From my perspective it should be the law of the land already.  From the commissions perspective its not so clear and it wins by 3.5 votes.  (viva la half vote!).

Jeff of course was happy.

Today, the commission is exploring the idea of eliminating the enhanced service provider [ESP] exemption.  What do we care right?  The Pulver Order is in place so things like Skype are safe!
Well, here is the thing, the impact can be very harmful to the rest of the community for a couple reasons.
1) The distinguishing characteristic is being based on numbers (or equivalents).  If you use a phone number to reach someone, the assumption is that a number is connecting to the phone network.  Is that correct? What if the URI does the routing? What happens when you use Internet Technology in a closed network that uses phone numbers as identifiers?
2) If the phone number is being reached via the Internet, or vice versa, will the entire call be subject to regulatory rules.  Right now the way it works, is that the local gateway is consider part of the regulatory regime.  But many of the battles about “phantom traffic” stem from a desire to determine the source and charge rates based on origin.
Do we really want to create an Internet Wheatstone Bridge on the gateways so that end points are quantified?  Skype’s supernodes do not pay any attention to anything other than traffic management and ignore geography.  The impact is that I could be connected to a supernode in Estonia while touching a gateway in my same neighborhood. Should Skype have to track me to charge me differently?
Imho the Pulver Order has lost its legs.  Where before it was table stakes and the service gateways between the PSTN and the Internet were undefined, now they are considered part of the PSTN and only the Pulver Order is left isolated as the only regulatory ambiguous area.
As Jeff would say “addition by subtraction”.

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