Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Big Shoe Drops: California Jumps on Regulation Bandwagon :: Voxilla.com :: A user's guide to the communications revolution

Big Shoe Drops: California Jumps on Regulation Bandwagon :: Voxilla.com :: A user's guide to the communications revolution: "California's Public Utilities Commission has jumped on the bandwagon to regulate Voice over IP companies.
VoicePulse CEO Ravi Sakaria has received a letter from John Leutza, Director of the California PUC's Telecommunications Division, demanding that the company 'file an application with the Commission for authority to conduct business as a telecommunications utility no later than October 22, 2003.'
According to Richard Fish, a Senior Utilities Engineer with the California PUC, five companies have been sent the letter. Besides VoicePulse, the others are Net2Phone, Packet8, SBC Communications and Vonage.
California's action comes on the heel of similar activity against VoIP providers in a number of other states, most recently Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Leutza's letter asserts the CPUC is taking action based 'on our monitoring of the telecommunications market and actions being taken by other state regulatory commissions.'
The letter cites four different sections of the California Public Utilities Code in making its demand:
'Section 234 of the California Public Utilities Code defines a telephone corporation as every corporation or person who owns, controls, or manages a telephone line for profit. Section 233 defines a telephone line as any asset used to facilitate telephone communication. Section 216 states that any telephone corporation that performs compensated service to any portion of the California public is a public utility. Section 2001 requires that a telephone corporation must first be certificated by the Commission to place a telephone line into service.'
According to Sakaria, this is the first letter his company has"

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