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    ICANN bosses slam VoIP regulation | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 19 comments | Search Discussion
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    But ICANN *does* regulate VOIP (indirectly)
    by KarlAuerbach on Saturday April 16 2005, @11:29AM (#14913)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    It is more than a bit disingenuous to say that VOIP should not be regulated.

    ICANN, for example, indirectly regulates VOIP today by virtue of its role over IP addresses - if a VOIP provider can not get IP address that VOIP provider then the only place that provider can sell its products onto networks run by others who do have access to IP addresses.

    I use VOIP daily both at home and at my office. Emergency access (911) is important to me - If things go very, very wrong I don't want to have to find my POTS phone among my VOIP phones.

    In addition, the nature of VOIP is such that the media packets need to be moved from source to destination with speed and low variation of delay (low jitter). Today we have edge providers beginning to impose predatory impairments on foreign VOIP traffic. And IP carriers jealously protect their turf making it hard for end-users or their representatives from obtaining belivable end-to-end service assurances.

    So there is much room in VOIP for regulation.

    It is historically shortsighted to take the point of view that regulation is necessarily a bad thing. Our historical experiences through the latter part of the 19th century and much of the 20th century tell us again and again that regulation can be highly beneficial if applied with care, focus, and restraint.

    Yes, the world should be terribly scared of VOIP regulation were that regulation to be in the wacko forms that we see with ICANN's regulation of the domain name system.

    But careful, informed, restrained, and cautious measures could be beneficial. Even John D. Rockefeller, monopolist extraordinare, justified his combination in restraint of trade on the grounds that he was bring consistency, via his own private kind of regulation, to what was at that time a very chaotic industry.
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