Yesterday the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission pulled back from its effort to regulate Vonage. CNET has the story of the two-page MPUC stay issued yesterday. (The original complaint alleged that Vonage offered telephone services. Egads! The nerve of those people offering unregulated telephony. Some things must not stand.)
The stay keeps the door open for the MPUC to jump back in the game if circumstances change due to judicial action or new federal legislation that would reverse the FCC's recent claim of authority. The article quotes our regulatory friend, and sometimes sparring partner, NARUC's Brad Ramsay suggesting that at least one state will challenge the FCC decision. Ramsay didn't give additional details about which of the "dozens of states" that have tried to regulate VoIP would be the potential litigants. Stay tuned. The next procedural step is at the 8th Circuit where the issue went after a District Court judge ruled that the MPUC did not have authority to regulate Vonage. Oral arguments were held on November 17 and tomorrow supplemental submissions to the Court are to be filed.