from the this-is-going-to-get-messy dept
However, with more and more people switching to VoIP services, combined with more and more VoIP providers going down this route, it's becoming a big issue, quickly. Harold Feld notes that Speakeasy is the latest VoIP provider to go down this route, blocking similar calls. To Speakeasy's credit, however, unlike both MagicJack and Google, it at least clearly alerted customers to this change, and also publicly lists out the blocked numbers. It's amazing that Google and MagicJack did not do either of these things.
Still, as Feld notes, this is becoming a big deal. It's likely that more and more VoIP providers are going to quickly go down this same path, and the phone system will start to splinter. This is bad. For a phone system to work, you shouldn't have a situation where the service you use can arbitrarily refuse to complete certain phone calls. The real answer is to get rid of the arbitrage loopholes. The rural telcos are clearly abusing the rules. Yes, this could seriously curtail various free conference calling solutions, but that's better than the alternative.