Two States, Two Very Different Approaches To VoIP Regulation
from the quacks-like-a-duck dept
Jeff Pulver is showing the contrast between two states in dealing with VoIP regulatory issues. New Jersey has passed a law saying that it will not regulate VoIP, noting "The proliferation of new technologies and applications and the growth in the number of providers developing and offering innovative services using Internet Protocol is due in large part to a light regulatory touch, including freedom from traditional telephone regulation that these new technologies and services and the companies that offer them have enjoyed in New Jersey.... These economic benefits, including consumer choice, new jobs, and significant capital investment, will be jeopardized and competition minimized by the imposition of traditional State entry and rate regulation on Voice over Internet Protocol service and Internet protocol-enabled service."
Unfortunately, Missouri isn't quite so enlightened. Despite various rulings saying that VoIP should not be taxed, Missouri is trying to bend the rules to make at least some VoIP offerings (mainly those provided by cable companies) classified as telco services that need to be taxed. As Jeff notes, if this works, then expect other states to follow suit and create loopholes for taxing VoIP providers... and then watch as all VoIP related innovation happens elsewhere.