With all the hype over VoIP, Om Malik is pointing to one thing that has the potential to seriously damage many VoIP providers' plans. The FCC might deny Level 3's petition to be exempt from termination charges (though, they may add further exemptions as well). The issue here is that the VoIP providers don't pay termination fees to telcos for calls that end up on their network. The telcos, obviously, would like them to pay up -- which would significantly increase the costs for VoIP providers, in turn increasing the fees for VoIP service, taking away much of the "benefit" from the existing sales pitch. Of course, it's not clear the FCC would actually let it get that far, but there's obviously room to be concerned. Once again, you have to wonder why the VoIP providers don't open up their networks and build a developer community. Letting those developers come up with useful apps would create value beyond just "cheaper phone service."
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