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VoIP Provider Files Net Neutrality Complaint Against a Government Utility

UPDATE 5/23/12: TRDaily reported today that they’ve been unable to find the threatened complaint. So far, no official complaints have been filed with the FCC under its Open Internet regulations.

Irony of ironies: The very first complaint filed with the FCC under its Open Internet rules comes from an innovative VoIP provider against a government-owned municipal utility:

A Florida VoIP carrier has filed a net neutrality complaint against a Georgia utility and broadband provider, after the utility accused the VoIP firm of theft of service for using its network to deliver voice service without paying for it.

via VoIP Provider Files Net Neutrality Complaint With FCC | PCWorld Business Center.

At David Isenberg’s Freedom To Connect conference in Washington this week, advocates of Internet Openness Susan Crawford, Vint Cerf, and Michael Copps have been touting a public utility model of network ownership while real public utilities are stifling real innovation in the real world. Don’t look too close.┬áThis case mirrors the Madison River complaint that led the FCC to adopt its initial Internet Policy Statement in 20006, except that the rural phone company that has committed the alleged offense in this case is publicly owned.

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About the author

Richard Bennett is an ITIF Senior Research Fellow specializing in broadband networking and Internet policy. He has a 30 year background in network engineering and standards. He was vice-chair of the IEEE 802.3 task group that devised the original Ethernet over Twisted Pair standard, and has contributed to Wi-Fi standards for fifteen years. He was active in OSI, the instigator of RFC 1001, and founder, along with Bob Metcalfe, of the Open Token Foundation, the first network industry alliance to operate an interoperability lab. He has worked for leading applied research labs, where portions of his work were underwritten by DARPA. Richard is also the inventor of four networking patents and a member of the BITAG Technical Working Group.