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California Demands Licensure For VoIP Providers 265

Posted by timothy
from the extortionate-troglodytes dept.
muonzoo writes "Looks like California will be wrangling up the VoIP companies and mowing them down. Or, at least licensing them. CNET has a story about state legislators' push for all VoIP companies in the state to carry a Telephone Operator License. CNET also has a quick blurb about Vonage and how they have recently started charging customers a 'Regulatory Recovery Fee.' Ugly stuff for a young industry." Here's our earlier post about Vonage charging the regulatory recovery fee.
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California Demands Licensure For VoIP Providers

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  • Here's a link (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sir Haxalot (693401) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:14PM (#7104850)
    to the same story on ZDNet [google.com].
    • Re:Here's a link (Score:3, Informative)

      by gardel (110754)
      Here's a better link to a much more complete story (that CNET clearly followed):

      http://www.voxilla.com/Article25-nested-order0-t hr eshold0.phtml
  • by r_glen (679664) * on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:16PM (#7104869)
    Yet another not-so-subtle attempt at increasing state revenue.
    Stay away from my internet, dammit!
    • I'm a vonage user and recently (a week ago, or the week before) received am email message indicating that they were lowering thier rates by $5, which they did. Vonage seems like a great company to me. I had difficulties getting ahold of support when we first went with them (about a year ago) but they have grown now. I haven't, however needd to call support since then.
    • "Yet another not-so-subtle attempt at increasing state revenue."

      There was a story on the news last night that another big company is leaving Portland (OR) to move to Nashville citing that it's more business friendly. That basically translates as "lower taxes". Other companies here have moved up to Vancouver WA, about 10 miles north. So, in effect, Portland's rising taxes are pushing the businesses that support the economy aay.

      You know, I watched Arnie talk a little bit about California, and he made a
      • Even played SimCity? Those are the main two influences... lower taxes leads less government revenue per tax payer... higher taxes leads to less taxpayers. If you're seeking to maximize government revenue, SOME taxpayers moving away is acceptable, as long as you're still on the left side of the curve heading up (or raising taxes briefly and then lowering them before taxpayers get motivated enough to move away). -Dave
      • At the very least, I hope he creates ripples over here.

        I have got to get a better monitor at work.

        I could have sworn that said, "I hope he creates nipples over here."

        I thought, "Well, that's one way to get elected..."

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:16PM (#7104872) Homepage Journal
    What if i do VoIP totally inside my company. does this sort of garbage effect me as well?

    what about software suppliers.. ( both commercial and OSS )

    etc etc.

    ( and no i didnt read it.. link didnt come up here )
    • by Quarters (18322) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:29PM (#7105042)
      Do you have to pay any telephone operator regulatory charges now?

      Do you sell your VoIP services to end users?

      If you answered yes to either/both of those, then you probably are affected. If you're not a VoIP provider then I doubt you have anything to worry about.

      I don't see this as as big a deal as the submittor of the article does. If a company is a telephone provider, regardless of the trasmission mechanism used, then they should have to play using the same set of rules/regulations as the other telephone providers.

      • What about msn voice chat?

        What about when msn voice works on smartphones?
      • You don't see how this is a problem?
        The problem is this: The government won't quit there. Soon, they'll tax everything. They'll tax your computer as a receiver and a transmitter, access charges to the "network", they'll have "per call charges", and mileage or time charges.
        The next group of legislators will want to "improve" on something in the past. It always happens. Shortly, we'll be paying "email" tax.
        This is just a first attempt at a small segment of the market. No one will complain beca
      • This is exactly right. I work for a police deptartment...how do you think the state funds 911 Emergency Services? Taxes on phones. Look at the bottom of your phone bill fellow Californians, there's a tax notice there that goes to supporting your emergency services.

        If someone is acting as a PROVIDER of phone services, then the tax needs to apply to them.
    • Exactly. This is unenforceable and stupid, made by folks trying to adapt old-media rules to the Internet to keep old business models afloat. You *cannot* sanely enforce this -- if you want to do something equivalent but reasonable, your only option is a tax on Internet data as a whole.

      *God*, I hate people trying to legislate the Internet. I wish I had a list of "good" tech politicians (the EFF oughta provide this) to support. That Rick what's-his-name from Virginia that keeps hitting Slashdot seems to
  • Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eln (21727) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:17PM (#7104880) Homepage
    Just because VoIP involves voice, that does NOT mean it's the same as telephone service. The monopolistic nature of telephone service (only one company can realistically have lines in a given area, particularly in the "last mile") makes heavy regulation and regulatory fees necessary. VoIP does not suffer from this physical limitation to competition, and thus any number of VoIP providers can exist in any area. This is yet another blatant attempt of government to cash in on an emerging technology.
    • Re:Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shalda (560388)
      I'll have to disagree with you here. The issue, as many states now seem to see it, is that at some point VoIP no longer travels over IP. A call originating on IP eventually meets up with the Plain Old Telephone System, wherein any number of regulations apply. The government is not trying to "cash in", they're trying to make everyone play by the same rules. That's pretty much what government does or mostly should. As a libertarian, I think it's appropriate that Vonage be held to the same standards (and
      • You can run VOIP on a data only network - you don't have to have a PSTN gateway.

        I would think that 'data-only' VOIP services would be exempt - otherwise it would open up all data networks to regulation. The internet would be regulated.

        That would be a very bad thing...

        Costs to maintain the records and functions of the regulations within the service providers would cut into profits.

        As a result services that are borderline or non- profitable would be cut, people would be layed off, and many providers wou
      • A call originating on IP eventually meets up with the Plain Old Telephone System, wherein any number of regulations apply.

        Correct. And the line(s) that connect VoIP to the PSTN are already regulated and taxed. Why should it be taxed twice when shared access to the line is resold to me?

        Or think of it this way. My company has a PBX. My company pays the regulatory fees and taxes on the T1 that gets piped into the PBX. They then turn around and run lines out of the PBX to all of our desks. Should m

    • by IPFreely (47576) <mark@mwiley.org> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:57PM (#7105359) Homepage Journal
      It's not about carrying voice traffic over TCP/IP, though that is what the name implies. What these VOIP companies are doing is tying their internet operations into local REAL telephone connections. They are using normal, dialable 7/10 digit numbers to identify destinations, and they are crossing traffic over between internet and telephone networks.

      AOL Talk, MS Netmeeting, heck even Battlecom allow you to carry voice over IP. But the difference is you can't dial up you phone number from Battlecom and make your phone ring.

      The VOIP in these cases are companies that tie into real telephone networks. They issue real telephone numbers to their customers. You can use a normal telephone to reach them. That means they are regulatable by the same standards as normal telephone. The regulators own the address space, not just the service standards.

      The easiest way to avoid this regulation and fees is not to tie into the telephone network, don't use the same 7/10 digit address space and don't claim you can call normal telephones. You do that and there's no fees and no regulation.

      • The VOIP in these cases are companies that tie into real telephone networks.

        As I've said in another post, the lines that connect VoIP to the PSTN are already regulated and taxed. That tax is paid for by the company who leases access to those lines. This situation is EXACTLY the same as a company who owns a PBX that connects out to the rest of the PSTN. The company is not required to tax every line that they plug into their PBX, only on the line that connects them to the PSTN.

        How is this situation

    • Re:Bullshit (Score:3, Informative)

      by iabervon (1971)
      The issue is that Vonage (et al) actually give you a telephone number and let you make telephone system calls. The VoIP step is irrelevant there; the issue is that you're making and receiving regular phone calls in Vonage's office, which then connects to you over the internet. It doesn't matter if you go to the phone company building to make your calls, have a long phone cord to your home, or connect over the internet. There's still a phone circuit there with your number on it, and the company still does te
  • When Arrrnold gets in office, this will all get taken care of :-)

    *ducks, and runs for life...*

    • With any luck, your off-hand joke will be reality.

      California doesn't need any more taxes, we need to cut spending. That isn't going to happen with Davis, et al in power. Arnold or McClintock are the only ones who have expressed any interest in cutting spending.
      • Since neither Arrnold nor McClintock are willing to enumerate where they'd cut spending, perhaps you'd like to.
        • Actually, McClintock has said explicitly that he'd roll back all programs to their 1998 levels, which would cut spending by around, oh, a measly 30 billion.

          Arnold has said that he wants an outside audit of all spending, and that anything deemed wasteful would be cut. Right now, for instance, the taxpayers are paying for 44,000 new jobs (created in the last three years), many of which (~15,000) aren't filled because there's no office space. The salaries for these jobs still get paid to the departments (once
          • Isn't a large portion of the California state budget entitlements with set levels? Does the governor have the ability to roll back all programs to 1998 levels?

            Does this rollback include police, fire fighters, EMT, hospitals, education? Since there was no Homeland Security program in 1998, where would he set that level?

            Considering the population increases (with concurrent needs increases) since 1998, won't 1998 levels of spending be drastically insufficient to meet the levels of service expected by the p

      • Completely off topic here, but how do you think either person, or if it matters, anyone who wins the office will deal with California's public inititivies (teacher / student ratios, emmissons limits, etc.) and cut spending at the same time?

        Then again, I guess we really don't need street cleaning, road repair, weights and messurements, law enforcement, fire fighters, libraries, forests and parks, schools, public health, street lights, farm aid, social nets, or anything else to help the people, just as long
        • Details, details. Those details don't really matter -- do they? Seriously, not many voters seem to notice that the state is required to spend 49% of it's budget on schools. The state is required to provide medical support to some by federal mandate. Welfare, too. Today, there isn't enough discretionary spending left in the entire state budget to eliminate this year's fiscal debt.

          People seem to like the idea that they get services and don't have to pay for them. Neocon ARNOLD gets a free ride over his Big L

    • If you believe that, I've got some swampland in Florida that I want to sell ya.

      No, really!!

      Who makes the laws in California?
      How is being the executive going to reduce programs?

      • The Executive branch may not "make" the laws, but the Govoner still has to sign the laws or veto them.

        If you think that the govonor is without influence over the legislative branch and cannot exert some power over the regulators office, you should stay in the real estate buisness in Florida, politics is not for you.

    • When Arrrnold gets in office

      I thought Talk Like a Pirate Day was over.

  • This is quite indicative of the business environment in california, and a perfect example of why the recall is (1) going forward, and (2) going to replace Davis with a Republican who's not afraid to protect business.

    6 more days til the vote.
    • California (for better or worse) tends to lead the country in many matters. With this regulation, they open the door for other states to do the same thing, then the feds will get involved.

      It's curious to me how people will applaud regulation when it comes to consolidation of media assets, yet they howl when there is a fee tacked on to their VoIP bill. These are both functions of regulations - it's OK when it stops you, but God forbid it ever touch me! Fairly hypocritical.

      • by Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:56PM (#7105353)
        it's OK when it stops you, but God forbid it ever touch me! Fairly hypocritical.

        Well, duh... Are you new to Slashdot?

        Simple Rules:
        1) If its good for ME then it's good for EVERYBODY
        2) If its bad for ME then its bad for EVERYBODY
        3) If its bad for (MICROSOFT|RIAA|MPAA|SCO) then its good for EVERYBODY
        4) If its bad for LINUX then its bad for EVERYBODY
        5) If it involves Natalie Portman, Beowulf Clusters or Pants Full of Hot Grits then its good for EVERYBODY
        6)If it involves the GOATSE guy its bad for EVERYBODY.

        Did I miss any?
    • "This is quite indicative of the business environment in california, and a perfect example of why the recall is (1) going forward, and (2) going to replace Davis with a Republican who's not afraid to protect business."

      You know, you're absolutely right. With a Republican in office, California will finally be able to support some successful businesses and leap forward into the modern age! I can hardly wait!
    • Someone who's not afraid to *protect* business? Good god man, have you any idea what you're saying?! The DMCA was passed to protect business! Every copyright term extension has been to protect business! I say business has enough protection - what about protecting people for once? How about the people of Bhupal, India? Dow(who bought out the old Union Carbide plant) seems pretty well protected, but who's protecting the people who have to deal every day with a toxic landmine?

  • by Kenja (541830)
    Why shouldn't VOIP providers be required by law to follow the same rules as traditional phone serve companies? These rules (amongst other things) protect the consumer from fraud, illegal wire taps and ensures a degree of privacy.
    • Because the laws and such were originally defined with the understanding that there would be a monopoly on telephone services (or at least the line into your house).

      That is no longer the case. Especially with the internet, as you can get a connection by cable, dsl, satelite, wi-fi, fm, etc... It's a free market. Regulation (at least in this sense) is no longer necessary.

      And becides does it make sense to charge a company in NJ for this? All they have are customers in other states. They don't own any proper
    • How do extra taxes/fees protect us from wiretaps and fraud, and ensure any privacy?
    • protect the consumer from fraud, illegal wire taps


      Ah, they protect people from Herr Ashcroft and
      company? Well, then, I, for one, welcome our
      new licensing overlords.

    • Some telecommunications taxes have been around for a long, long time. Do you think that we should just plop them down on top of TCP/IP? I don't.

    • Why shouldn't VOIP providers be required by law to follow the same rules as traditional phone serve companies?


      \How about, beacuse I (as a person who pays to have a DSL line run to my house) already conform to the existing telephony regulations and pay all taxes and fees. By regulating and taxing my VOIP service I'm doubly regulated and doubly taxed.

    • Interesting point, but nowadays fraud is ignored (eBay [auctionbytes.com], PayPal [paypalsucks.com]), there is (almost) no such thing as an illegal wiretap [eff.org], and privacy [epic.org] is an anachronism.
    • What makes you so sure that the VoIP providers are not providing these protections already? It is not in thier interest to have customers be victims of fraud.

      They should not have to follow the same rules as the telcos, because they are not telcos. They do not have a fixed cable plant to maintain, nor do they have a monopoly on the local market. They also are not promising 100% uptime either. They are proving you with a _portable_ internet service that lets you take your phone number with you that is n

    • Because VOIP is an APPLICATION, it uses an Application layer protocol. The fact that that protocol allows one to transmit voice over the internet is totally irrelevant. Taxing VOIP would be no different than taxing http.
  • Are software-only VoIP providers required to pay also? The article is a little light on the details. This is clearly the first step for charging extra for specific kinds of data that differ by nothing other than what they're used for.
  • Voice IM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moehoward (668736) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:19PM (#7104912)
    What about things like Voice IM? The standards for defining telephony are pretty loose. I talk to people (video conference, voice chat...) over IM all the time via Yahoo and Windows Messenger.

    Seems odd to single it out because the lines already exist. I thought that the phone companies were regulated in large part because of the necessity of having only one line per house, rather than 20 providers digging up your town.

    Don't most people already pay these access charges in one way or another via ISPs or other downstream providers.

    I suspect that the politicians are much more stupid than we assumed. And I mean that.
    • .. afaik/iwts(i would think so) the line is drawn when the user can access 'normal' phone service from the voip service(of course, if you weren't doing that wtf do you need the voip company for anyways).

      which kinda makes it logical for them to be under the same taxation as normal phone companies, otherwise normal phone companies could just replace one part of the line with transparent to the user voip and claim it's a voip service and ditch the taxes too(hint, afaik most phone companies already route phone
    • Re:Voice IM? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by argmanah (616458)

      Seems odd to single it out because the lines already exist. I thought that the phone companies were regulated in large part because of the necessity of having only one line per house, rather than 20 providers digging up your town.

      Don't most people already pay these access charges in one way or another via ISPs or other downstream providers.

      I suspect that the politicians are much more stupid than we assumed. And I mean that.

      They aren't stupid, they are just trying to wrangle as much for themeselves as

    • I started using Skype [skype.com] last week, the sound quality in my experience blows the Voice IM clients away. They claim to be developing a way of calling regular phones as well.
    • What about things like Voice IM?

      Here's what will eventually happen (IMHO):

      VoIP will be taxed by the states but, because it is fundamentally cheaper to maintain, PSTN will die and everyone will eventually find themselves talking via VoIP. Once this happens, you no longer need a "provider" for voice service because you won't need a regular phone number.

      You'll be able to contact anyone in the world via their SIP [nwfusion.com] address. Since you will only need an internet connection to maintain a legacy-free SIP addres
  • If you are AT&T, MCI, SBC or some other LEC/CLEC. If however, you are just some regualr Joe it means, no phone discounts for you!
  • Anyone who is in doubt about what Gray Davis has done to California need look no further. Excessive regulations harm all industries (not just growing/developing ones).
  • Vonage fees? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EvilStein (414640) <spam@@@pbp...net> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:22PM (#7104952) Homepage
    Vonage also lowered the monthly fee, too.

    I *really* don't want my VoIP service to wind up with more than 6 different taxes like my old Pacific Bell service did.
    I pay PUC/etc taxes on my internet connection already. I really don't want to be double-dipped for my VoIP service.
  • Could there be a "no taxing the internet" test case in the works as a result of this?

    GF.
  • This is stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smackjer (697558)
    Will IM clients like Yahoo Messenger, AIM, etc, which allow you to talk to someone using VoIP be regulated the same way, and be on the same fee schedule? This is another case (like the RIAA) of technology rendering certain cash-cow business models obsolete. These industries and the FCC/government (via tax revenue and fees) are accustomed to raking in cash for providing a service whose infrastructure is not only outdated but insufficient in many cases. I think for the first time in history we are seeing ca
  • Boy o boy (Score:2, Informative)

    by stratjakt (596332)
    California's governors sure do know how to drive business out-of-state, don't they?

    My VoIP phone is ringing. It's Ahnold. He says "Hasta la vista, baby bells!"

  • Vonage sells a handset that plugs into an Ethernet jack. It's a client that talks only to their servers. Why hasn't someone else done this, but minus the servers? This is, after all, truly a peer to peer application. All you need is some way to find people, a problem that the "file sharing" community seems to have solved adequately.
  • and all I could think was "Here is a promising industry coming to fruition, and, now, the government and the legacy phone companies want to fuck it over. Holy flaming shit on a stick."
  • John Leutza, director of the California Public Utilities Commission's telecommunications division. "They sure look like a phone company in nearly every regard," he said in an interview Tuesday. "This will be California's policy, going forward."

    Regulators are typically of the same general mind set as monopolists, and in an earlier day they would probably all have worked for railroads. But while VoIP offers some of the same services as telephone, there are significant differences in the technology, as poin
  • ...And the Golden State definitely needs some more revenues, excuse me, "licenses" to help fix our ongoing fiscal problems. Perhaps those companies should send some campaign contributions to some of the candidates going into October 7th... They better not call though...

  • Typical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thefirelane (586885) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:31PM (#7105069)
    With Gray Davis' days numbered, the California legislature is cranking out as many liberal laws as possible. The Wall Street Journal has an article [wsj.com] about it on the front page.

    This legislation serves two real purposes: winning over many Democratic supporters and interest groups and giving Democrats ammo to fire against Arnold when he repeals them. Note, the last reason is fairly typical of any political group.... Clinton signed environmental legislation that was extremely harsh, knowing that if Bush won he'd have to repeal them which would let Democrats call him anti-environmental (If Gore won, no one would care about him repealing the laws, as it didn't fit into the stereotype)

    Recent CA laws passed include:
    • granting illegal immigrants the right to driver's licenses
    • enacting the nation's toughest financial-privacy and antispam measures
    • expanding the rights of gay domestic partners
    and coming up: requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance or pay into a state pool to purchase the coverage


    ---Lane
    • granting illegal immigrants the right to driver's licenses

      They don't need US driver's licenses, because a mutual agreement with Mexico would be sufficient.

      enacting the nation's toughest financial-privacy and antispam measures

      Making doing business in California harder than ever.

      expanding the rights of gay domestic partners

      The fact that the government has the gall to legislate lifestyles is appalling.

      Politicians suck (okay, most politicians suck).
    • Re:Typical (Score:2, Funny)

      by notcreative (623238)
      • granting illegal immigrants the right to driver's licenses
      • enacting the nation's toughest financial-privacy and antispam measures
      • expanding the rights of gay domestic partners

      Those laws are awful! They might result in the horror of

      • People without documents (who assuredly aren't in the US right now) learning basic road safety and having an incentive to pass the driver's test.
      • Fincancial privacy and less spam.
      • Legal, secular recognition of devoted partnerships that form the basis of families.
      • People without documents (who assuredly aren't in the US right now) learning basic road safety and having an incentive to pass the driver's test.

        Wow, that is amazingly naive... The real reason for this law is to try to get as many illegal immigrants as possible. If you can't see this (no matter what side you're on) you are pretty blind

        As an added bonus, legal California residents will have their licensees considered invalid as a form of ID most anywhere else, and will have to lug around their passpor
  • New vs. Old (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PingXao (153057) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:35PM (#7105120)
    It's the same old story for the pols. They've always regulated and taxed telephone companies, i.e. those who transport sound from one phone to another. This is no different to them. They can't distinguish between completely different types of technology. The Internet is "new", so they have thus far avoided taxing the 'net because they've "never done that before". Nationwide, they even prohibited state sales tax from being collected on purchases over the internet. The politicians really are clueless. Enjoy it while it lasts because once they get a bite of the apple it will be all over and net taxes will be everywhere. Trying to reason with regulators over whether or not VoIP should be taxed and regulated the same way as traditional phone companies is like pissing into the wind.
    • Nationwide, they even prohibited state sales tax from being collected on purchases over the internet.

      False. The moratorium on Internet taxes did not undo sales and use taxes already imposed by the states. In fact, a law was passed to close a loophole that had allowed a major online bookseller (bn.com, I think, but it may have been borders.com) to skip collection of sales tax in California.

      Just because an out-of-state retailer doesn't collect sales or use tax on an online (or catalog) sale doesn't mean

  • by nege (263655)
    Interesting that one of the cornerstones of a civilized society is the ability to quickly and effectivley communitcate in a meaningful way. Yet our society seeks to stifle this with licences, fees, and administrvia that continue to errode our communication capabilities...for the sake of what...profit?
  • One of Microsoft's big aims with Longhorn was to offer VoIP support to every office cubicle via the operating system. Will Microsoft's DRM come into play to enable this?

  • Let's get some email addresses of state assembly members, PUC members, the gubernatorial candidates, etc., list them on slashdot, and I bet just a few tens of thousands of emails will get us some action.....
  • Yeah, RIGHT! With help like yours, who needs hurt? Hmmm...what's that other truism..the one about coming and a mouth?
  • I wonder what the tax rate is in vanatu? I wonder how these state legislators will deal with US "phone" companies pulling up skirts and hightailing off to wired countries that don't try to tax every new service that competes with their old services?

    Between this and the p2p networks lobbying to tax everyone to pay "compulsory" fees to record industry dinosaurs, it looks for all the world like the US is determined to toss away any last tiny vestiges of "technical leadership."

  • Did something happen that required California legislators to step in and create this legislation?
    Did I miss something? What prompted this?

    It's clear that we'll hear "great things about this much-needed legislation" over the coming days.
    I suspect that California legislators simply want to restrict freedom. They don't want free choice (without paying.) It gives legislators a feeling of power. "Look what we did! We did this for Californians! You should be grateful!" They'll claim, "We gave the
  • This story was reported by Voxilla.com a day before CNET got to it. Voxilla's report is much more thorough. You can read it at http://www.voxilla.com/Article25-nested-order0-thr eshold0.phtml.
  • double tax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blitziod (591194) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:09PM (#7105543)
    so i have to pay state tax on on my cable/dsl connection THEN pay again to use some of that same bandwidth as a phone line? That is making me pay twice for the same BW and connection.
  • Everyone is right. This is another attempt to tax me more. Many here have said that since Vonage is a telephone service, it should be taxed like one. I disagree. First off, I must have DSL to use Vonage. There's no other way. Adelphia cable has capped upstream at under 100K in Santa Monica, and Vonage won't work at all when someone is surfing the web with cable. This makes DSL mandatory. Next, I MUST have a Verizon telephone to get DSL. Verizon charges me many, many taxes just to have a telephone. The tax
  • What is going on here is that the corrupt telcos who could not innovate if they tried are using their influence to bribe politicians to do what they can to bring down VOIP. It is time for rev olution folks, and I mean, in the streets, not just online.

  • I guess soon they going to lick special stamps for every e-mail they send...

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