Dueling Lobbyists - The Fight for VoIP Regulation
The fight for the future of VoIP heated up this week with lobbyists on both sides of the regulation issue making noise in Washington. Paul Kapustka, writing in networkingpipeline, reports that the Communications Workers of America has called for telecom regulations for Voice over IP saying that they hope to protect consumers. But he observes that "...it's pretty clear who the union is really trying to protect -- big telco companies, who employ most of the union's members." In what may be a related item, the recent CWA contract with SBC "Gives Workers Access to Jobs of Future" (jobs in areas such as VoIP).
Meanwhile, Tim Richardson writing for The Register describes The Voice on the Net (VON) coalition as having members that include AT&T, Intel, MCI, Microsoft, and Skype. VON similarly warns that consumers will be hurt, but argues that the harm will come from regulation. They too are, of course, simply protecting their own business interests.
Big players on both sides means a protracted debate -- full employment for lobbyists. But who will actually look out for consumers?