The Commission's action this morning on the Vonage petition seems to provide further evidence that it is more cognizant now than it was a year or so ago of the need for its policies not to disadvantage those companies who are investing in facilities. Thus, in addition to granting Vonage's petition for preemption of state regulation of its VoIP service, the Commision's press release points out that: "The Commission also stated that other types of IP-enabled services, such as those offered by cable companies, that have basic characteristics similar to DigitalVoice would also not be subject to traditional state public utility regulation."
This makes eminent sense, of course. Conversely, it wouldn't make sense to exempt from state regulation those companies like Vonage that essentially ride on the facilities of others, while leaving those offering services of the same inherently borderless nature over their own facilities to the vagaries of 50 different state regulatory regime.
So, if the full text of the Commisison's Vonage order comports with the news release, kudos to Michael Powell and his colleagues for taking an important step in the future.
(But don't ever bet your house on an FCC action without considering that the courts have the last word!)