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New FCC Chairman

Decisions that will shape IP-based communications loom.

Larry Greenemeier

March 18, 2005

1 Min Read

President Bush named Kevin Martin the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission last week, throwing Martin into a role critical to shaping the future of IP-based communication.

Some of the most pressing issues facing the FCC include how telecom carriers pay for using each other's networks for voice and data traffic, and whether voice-over-IP calls will incur charges when carried over traditional telephone networks.

Voice over IP is one issue Martin faces.



Voice over IP is one issue Martin faces.

The FCC must figure out how to regulate voice-over-IP and IP-enabled services and the carriers that provide them. "VoIP is so inexpensive right now because there's no mechanism for charging for VoIP calls once they hit the network," Gartner research VP Ron Cowles says.

The FCC is under pressure from carriers to regulate voice-over-IP exchanges so that newcomers and more traditional telecom providers are on a level playing field. For example, there's a fund to promote telecom access and quality into which traditional providers pay but newer IP-enabled service providers don't.

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