Powell: VoIP Already Changing Perceptions

In his final public speech as chairman of the FCC, Michael Powell yesterday told an appreciative audience at the Voice on the Net (VON) conference in San Jose, Calif., the industry has done much already to change how the world, and regulators, view VoIP.

He said this will lead to less regulation and more protection for VoIP, citing the FCCs recent decision against Madison River Telephone Company LLCs blockage of VoIP as an example.

But were not naive, he added. We know that danger still lurks in the weeds. We recognize that the owners of broadband distribution platforms might have motive and incentive to play with your bits to filter them or block them.

Powell reiterated his four broadband freedoms (see Take Action), adding those ideas are a shock to those who might intend to use their power to block the flow of bits to willing consumers.

The Madison River action by the FCC, he said, was a declaration that we would keep on the lookout for any movement in that direction.

The future is so bright for VoIP, Powell continued, cautioning, VoIP but wont be a rock star forever. You must take care to work with government on things of great importance [to citizens] and never yield to the flashy lights.

Although some say revolutions tend to get bogged down in regulation, he said, it doesnt have to happen here. You can work on 911 and how to protect the interests of law enforcement and protect the principles of accessibility and affordability for all. The industry needs to continue to be the teachers and leaders and to show public policy officials the way.

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