Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Emily Litella Regulation: FCC tells VoIP to Never Mind

The FCC's E911 VoIP regulation has agitated me here and here as moral preening substituting for public policy, but now it seems that was all a bit of brinksmanship, or brinksregulatorship, as the case may be:

"Although we do not require providers that have not achieved full 911 compliance by November 28, 2005, to discontinue the provision of interconnected VoIP service to any existing customers, we do expect that such providers will discontinue marketing VoIP service, and accepting new customers for their service, in all areas where they are not transmitting 911 calls to the appropriate PSAP in full compliance with the Commission's rules."

Apparently there is now a structured regulatory hierarchy: Regulation By Jawboning, Regulation By Bluff, and Regulation. [This would be the Straussian esoteric reading of the APA's meaning, I believe.] With regard to VOIP E911 compliance, the first didn't work, so the second was tried, judged a success, and voila, we'll pull the threatened death penalty for noncompliance. Of course, we're back to Jawboning to control "marketing" VoIP service. If that fails...

couldn't have done it better.

No matter how much I prefer the final outcome to discontinuing a consumer's service, the irregularity of the process is troubling.

posted by Ray Gifford @ 4:44 PM | VoIP