Vonage Ordered To Follow Phone Company Rules
from the are-they-a-phone-company-or-not? dept
Is Vonage a phone company? While they provide service just like a phone company, they do it all over the internet, rather than the traditional telephone system. Traditional phone companies are (of course) scared stiff of Vonage (though, some have tried partnering with Vonage). Now, Minnesota state regulators have decided Vonage is an illegal phone company - in violation of a number of regulations. Vonage, not surprisingly, plans to fight this decision, saying that since all their calls go over the internet, they're nothing at all like a phone company. It's not a surprise this is happening, but how it turns out (and how similar cases in other states turn out) will have a huge impact on how companies like Vonage can grow. This is another situation where regulators seem to be trying to fit old laws to new technologies - something that is likely to result in bad legal decisions.