David Beckemeyer on Incumbent Preservation

by Bruce Stewart

I very much agree with what TelEvolution founder David Beckemeyer expresses so eloquently in his recent blog post, FCC clearly in bed with traditional telecom. David notes that with recent FCC actions like the VoIP 911 Order, the VoIP CALEA requirements, and now the Universal Service Fund for VoIP Order, there seems to be a real trend at the FCC to create new regulations designed to protect the incumbent telcos. (At the same time I also agree with David that it shouldn't come as a surprise to companies looking to replace our traditional phone companies that they're going to be required to fully implement 911 services.)

David plays closer attention to the fine print of these new regulations than most, and he isn't happy with what he's been seeing. Noting things like how there's a buried footnote in the USF for VoIP order specifying that incumbents don't have to pay into USF for DSL service revenues, and the unequal considerations given to telcos and VoIP providers, it sure does seem clear that the telco lobbyists are earning their money. Or as David wryly puts it, the USF and other VoIP-related orders might as well just be called "The Incumbent Preservation and Consumer Protection from Innovation Act". I really enjoy David's writing on Mr. Blog, partly because he's not afraid to speak his mind:

What better way for the government to spend my tax dollars than to prop up a bloated, ecomonically dysfunctional industry so it can continue to suck the life out of the economy and destroy the competitive position of the United States in the global arena? The new USF FCC Order doesn't even discuss its impact upon VoIP providers, but, thank God, it finds it will have minimal impact on the incumbents. Whew. That's a relief. I'll sleep better tonight knowing that.