SBC Looks To Make VoIP More Expensive

from the snuck-in-under-the-radar dept

Everyone seems to be focusing on SBC’s announced plans to offer a VoIP service. This isn’t particularly surprising. They have been testing the service for a while now, and it’s obvious to just about anyone that all of the Bell’s will offer VoIP at some point. However, what they apparently hid under the radar was another plan that would charge other VoIP providers an extra tariff to connect to their local phone network. This, obviously, would likely force VoIP providers to increase their own fees to cover SBC’s connect charge, though the article also suggests the FCC isn’t too happy about SBC’s moves. SBC denies that it’s a big deal, noting that this extra fee would be part of a service that’s “voluntary.” Unfortunately, the article doesn’t seem to describe why any VoIP provider would want to subscribe to a service that seems to increase their fees. This is simply a reminder that the Bells still control the last mile to the phone, and have the potential to use that to block out competing new technologies. Whether they’re allowed to do so is going to be a big battle if the FCC doesn’t clear things up very soon.

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