The Hidden Costs Of Being A VoIP Provider
from the aflac! dept
An idea that got kicked around when eBay bought Skype and all the talk of "synergies" started was that eBay -- nor Skype, for that matter -- seemed to understand everything that was involved in running a phone company. Skype may have solved the technological angle, but there's a lot more to it than that, particularly dealing with govermental regulation. Just today, Jeff Pulver points to an FCC order dealing with wiretapping on VoIP networks and noticing it will apply to a much broader range of VoIP services than previously thought, including those that don't interconnect to the public phone network. Given the current political climate, this isn't too surprising, but Kevin Werbach points out the bottom line -- that the
duck theory is at work again. Since VoIP does sort of the same thing as a phone line, it's going to be regulated like one. For VoIP providers of any flavor, this could mean significant changes in technology to accomodate wiretaps and E911, and the increased costs to accompany them. While eBay may have thought it could circumvent phone companies by buying Skype, it's a little harder to get around the government, particularly when there's an opportunity for taxes.