FCC looks to reign in VoIP service providers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been eyeing the VoIP industry in recent years, demonstrating interest in expanding the reach of its authority to the IP telephony market over which it currently does not have regulatory grounds, according to Venture Beat. In a letter submitted to the Secretary of the FCC last year, AT&T argued that the internet is considered an "informative service" as opposed to a telecommunications service. As a result, service providers and operators do not fall within the jurisdiction of the legislative group. 

If the FCC assumes greater responsibility over the VoIP market and regulates providers as telecommunications carriers, there are concerns that innovative freedom may be dampened, Get VoIP reports. Currently, operators and other service providers can build out their networks with value-added services as market demand grows. Moreover, they can adapt or upgrade their VoIP architecture and make new agreements with carriers to secure more competitive rates that can be passed down to consumers. 

Placing greater regulations on the industry might curb the growth trend, which has spiked as subscribers learn about the advantages that come with internet-based phone services, the source adds. If innovation does not continue, the reasons driving them to switch may drop off. 

For instance, the sector has recently seen a number of new products emerge that can help service providers expand their footprints, deliver reliable communication services and drive network convergence, such as integrated media gateways

If the sector continues on its current trajectory and regulations are not imposed, operators will need to prepare for additional subscribers and traffic with solutions that are fully scalable. This will enable operators to handle increasing call volumes seamlessly, passing on better service to consumers as they make the switch away from public switched telephone networks.