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California PUC Appeals Vonage Ruling
... possibly only for a few weeks though
by Optimized 03:30PM Friday Dec 31 2004
The California Public Utilities Commission has filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit challenging the FCC's recent decision to exempt Voice over IP provider Vonage Holdings from state-by-state regulations. The interesting twist is that the CPUC itself may seek to overturn the petition when new commissioners come on board Jan. 11. The CPUC's petition, filed with the court on Dec. 22, asks that the FCC's Vonage ruling be found in excess of the Commission's statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations and is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and otherwise contrary to law.

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hescominsoon

join:2003-02-18
Brunswick, MD

this will be interesting to watch

This will go to the supreme court as the 9th circus will be in full effect once again.

Bill
Premium,VIP
join:2001-12-09

Hasn't the ninth circuit...

lost all credibility recently? Whenever you need some liberal activist judge to rule in your favor, that's where you go.
--
Secure-Wifi.Net is now open for buisness in the LA/OC area.

AbBaZaBbA
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Wildomar, CA
kudos:4

Re: Hasn't the ninth circuit...

recently? haven't they been full of liberal activist judges for along time?

oliphant
I Have 8 Boobies
Premium
join:2004-11-26
Corona, CA
People talk about how they're the most overturned court, but if you take it as a percentage of cases, they're not the most overturned. They're simply overturned often because they handle more cases that the other districts. Not saying they're not insane kooks on that bench, but they're no more insane than any of the others.

calvoiper

join:2003-03-31
Belvedere Tiburon, CA

Re: Hasn't the ninth circuit...

Yes, but the Ninth Circuit leads in "summary reversals", where the Supremes just hand a case back without full treatment--sort of saying "Wrong, dummies, look at this again"--essentially where the error is so obvious it need not be explained.

calvoiper
--
VoIP--the death knell of remaining voice monopolies!

Veloslave
Geek For God
Premium
join:2003-07-11
Martinez, CA

1 recommendation

The ninth circut court of personal agenda

oliphant
I Have 8 Boobies
Premium
join:2004-11-26
Corona, CA

1 recommendation

Over $100 billion

...and they still want even more money from California tax payers. Perhaps if they would quit the 40% increases in spending they wouldn't need to squeeze more blood from us turnips.

Bob in Dallas

@comcast.net

Re: Over $100 billion

Yet another reason why I left Cali...
yazdzik
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-26
Honesdale, PA
kudos:1

2 recommendations

even the luddites hate taxes

Dear Friends,

The concept of appellation from an order resulting from the use of ministerial powers is simply a normal course of events in protecting jurisdiction.

As much as I hate the thought of the states regulating VOIP, it is hard to see that the intention to file appeal is anything more than pro forma in this case. Too much case law on the side of the ministries, and the requirement is that something is both arbitrary and capricious. Hard to make that stick.

It is equally hard to see how, in spite of the legal theory, that the state would prevail, as no sane politician would create taxes, irrespective of their necessity. Whether or not the perception is even true, many folks feel that anything done on the net is tax-free, that the internet is a haven from the vultures.

My wife, a luddite in excelsis, hating the very thoughts of computers and even cell phones, wants to use VOIP.....

Cheap and untaxed.

Remember, when most teens today will be of voting age, few of the industry ideals of today will hold.

All good wishes,

Yazdzik
--
Things go better with coke...

Re: even the luddites hate taxes

OMG your the biggest idiot I have seen on these broads. You really think you talk above the "common" people, my guess is your a professor at some idiot uni, full of himself, dude your a moron. Kids today are not stupid, they voted Bush in, and the next generation will do the same. Industry is the peoples lifeblood. Freedom to choose is our inherited domain. We the people payed for it and by Gods will we will hold it. I wish upon you you only pain and suffering, the same you wish upon me and mine.
Expand your moderator at work

Mospaw
My socks don't match.
Hawaiian Jellyfish
join:2001-01-08
Mile High
kudos:1

3 edits

6 recommendations

Re: even the luddites hate taxes

That was a rather unwarranted attack on someone. I hope you find healing, compassion, and kindness in your heart this new year.

catseyenu
Ack Pfft
Premium
join:2001-11-17
Fix East

3 edits

1 recommendation

Re: even the luddites hate taxes

said by Mospaw:




Another master of words, thanks Mos!

2kmaro
Think
Premium,ExMod 1 BC
join:2000-07-11
ColossalCave
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by justncredible:

OMG your the biggest idiot I have seen on these broads.
Idiot or not, at least he's getting some! Seems you could do well to do the same. Start saving your money now?
--
More bars in more places .... drink responsibly.
Expand your moderator at work

lt_wentoncha
Red6

join:2002-05-12
000000

PUC

The PUC, weren't these the people same people who were responsible for overseeing the failure that is energy deregulation in CA?

GilbertMark
Premium
join:2001-05-02
Gilbert, AZ

Re: PUC

yes those were the chowder heads that blew it, thanks puc

i really loved those $300 PG&E bills for a household of 3 that i got for a few months in that horrible year

paulhaskew
Unoffical Dominos Spokesman

join:2002-01-10
Vancouver, WA

bah

California... how did I know they would be the first to do this? they wanna tax anything and everything, including the air your breathe... bah...
Stanta
Premium
join:2002-04-13
98034-7901

Will Government Ever Learn it needs to Shrink?

More Regulation of a something that is to be FREE PUBLIC DOMAIN...

I agree with the 9th Circuits decision and hope to the high heavens that somehow, someway the decision will be upheld in the interest of the small guy, the almighty Consumer...

When will enough of us TaxPayers finally get together, speak up and say, "Enough is Enough!"?

California does tax the bajeebers out of everything and that is why they should lose on this one. Just because technology is changing and the advent of new communication tools are being explored and utilized does not mean "WE" the people should go along with being bamboozled into paying for something that should remain unregulated and open to free use and expression as the Internet is and was always intended to be.

Stop PIRACY by the very Government that is to SERVE the PEOPLE.

Stand up and be counted, Speak out AGAINST this terrible use of public resource when there are so many other important things to keep their eyes on like Balancing a Budget, Cutting Spending and Shrinking the Bureaucracy!

Stop taxing the LIFE out of the TaxPayer. Let VoIP be.

qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX

Ninth Circuit Court of Fools

The continued idiocy of the the Ninth Circuit Court, coupled with the guessing game about the retirement of the Justices on the USSC are very good arguments for imposing a 25 year term limit for Federal Judicial appointees. No one should guaranteed a lifetime appointment to any job, especially ones as important as the US Circuit Courts and the USSC.
--
To paraphrase George Orwell "All life is sacred, but some life is more sacred than others."
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

I agree with the PUC

All VoIP should be under state regulation by the PUC. That is so that the consumer will be protected. I don't believe that VoIP should be allowed unless it is carrier class and Vonage certainly is not nor is the lousy VoIP that Time Warner is getting ready to offer in Hawaii. With proper PUC regulation required these companies would be forced to have carrier class VoIP and that would mean it would be safe to get rid of your land line. The way is now, you must retain your land line for lifeline services. Time Warner is too lazy to commit to fixing their network for backup purposes yet they hope to help Verizon as the local carrier to go into fast oblivion. Then what? No one has life line services. If VoIP is regulated and required to be carrier class then the public benefits because we will have orderly plan for the transition from land line to VoIP.
--
The first and foremost function of our jurors is to protect private citizens from a tyrannical and intrusive government...Jurors are the last line of defense for liberty. Thomas Jefferson 1789

authagent
Premium
join:2002-11-08
Fenton, MO

Re: I agree with the PUC

There is a lot that I don't understand about your post:

1. How do you propose defining what VOIP products are carrier class?

2. Would a company not do something because it is lazy? Anyways you are talking about them "fixing their network for backup purposes." I can personally guarantee you that Time Warner's network does not consist of all their routers daisy chained in one big circle. They didn't use DC electricity as the model for their network. What can and will fail is the last mile... just like a tree can fall on the phone line to your house, your last mile cable connection could be cut.

3. You keep mentioning lifeline, lifeline provides people low income families with discounted phone rates. If this applies to you, then you shouldn't be concerned with VOIP anyways, let people with some free cash Beta Test this stuff.
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: I agree with the PUC

Lifeline is not just for low income. Everyone who has a landline telephone has LIFELINE SERVICE. There is a program for low income persons so that they can afford to have a land line telephone which provides LIFELINE services. (Since VoIP is advertised as cheaper than a landline why would you think low income folks would not want it or shouldn't have it? I don't understand your comment.

Lifeline services in the eyes of the PUC means that a phone company offering carrier class service (which is what your local landline company offers) will meet the requirements of the PUC for emergency/lifeline service. That includes backup and real 911 service. Time Warner (unlike some other cable operators) has chosen to not offer carrier level service because they don't want to either use a battery backup modem or better yet fix the infrastructure of the network so that backup service is provided in that manner. Of course, this would require a huge investment on the part of TW but this would be the responsible way to go and is what some cable companies are choosing to do. Time Warner is on record saying that they were going to do this until they did a survey and found out that their customers don't care about lifeline services! I suspect that is mostly because they don't understand the issues.

911 as offered by Vonage currently is a joke. Currently, 911 with Vonage doesn't work at all if your cable goes down or the power goes off as there is no backup....not even a four hour battery as a part of the modem. Oceanic TW has chosen to not offer a battery modem although I believe a few TW franchises do offer that.

911 through Vonage also currently requires that the caller be able to speak their location and the call goes to who knows where but certainly not the local police station where landline 911 calls go. 911E which Vonage is offering now in one state, will locate the caller without the need to speak the location. That is an improvement. If a small child is the only one in the house in an emergency and calls 911 Vonage and can't tell the operator the address then the parent who just had a stroke and can't move or talk has a greatly increased risk of dying or never fully recovering as compared to if regular 911 was available. Same if a person who is alone, falls and is injured and almost unconscious but they manage to reach the phone and press 911 and then pass out. They will not receive 911 lifeline services because Vonage 911 doesn't know where they are.

911E will allow for location of the caller to determined without the need to speak the location. However, that is still a far cry from traditional landline 911 as the call goes to some service center in another state frequently and there have been instances of babies dying, etc. because the 911 operator didn't know where the location was and rerouted the call to the wrong 911 center. In Hawaii, the call will probably go to a center on the Mainland. I can just see those operators misunderstanding Hawaiian street names, or someone says they are in Kamuela but the call center has only Waimea as the town name. (It's both..Kamuela to the USPS and Waimea to most everyone else). Or the operator thinks the person is on Maui when they are on the Big Island, etc.

These problems occur on a much less frequent basis (if at all) when the 911 lifeline call goes over the PUC approved and regulated carrier class service. The call goes to the local police station and even if there are no snafus in the rerouting of the calls on VoIP 911 like Vonage precious seconds go by before an ambulance, fire truck, etc. are dispatched and those seconds can mean the difference between life and death or being paralyzed for life instead of being whole and healthy or dying from a heart attack or recovering.

Vonage and TW VoIP are second line services only and you need to keep your landline. Some say that cell phones will work as a substitute for the landline. Well, the electricity goes off...your landline probably still works but cell and VoIP without some type of backup won't work. TW has admitted to me that their service is intended as second line only and only in areas where the electricity is highly reliable. That certainly cuts out most areas of Hawaii. My concern is that most customers don't understand Lifeline services and the dangers in getting VoIP if they don't keep the landline also. Plus, I suspect Oceanic has no intention of educating people especially in the enticing ads they will probably have. So, a lot of people will go to this service and that puts nails in the coffin of Verizon our local landline carrier. Verizon is required by the PUC to have emergency backup. That should be required of VoIP which in the not too distant future will displace traditional landline service. (This is why Verizon has sold Verizon Hawaii to Carlyle pending PUC approval).

VoIP is intended to displace the local traditional phone company. Thus, it should be regulated from the beginning by the PUC just as the local landline is regulated. Low income folks should be eligible for it under some subsidized plan because in the not so distance future there won't be a local landline phone company for them to use! Proper planning for the transition should begin now.

Edited to answer your question about how I would propose defining what VOIP products are carrier class. That is already done by the PUC in your state. Hawaii's Standards for Telephone Service as put forth by the PUC can be read here. »www.hawaii.gov/budget/adminrules/DBFGO8.pdf

--
The first and foremost function of our jurors is to protect private citizens from a tyrannical and intrusive government...Jurors are the last line of defense for liberty. Thomas Jefferson 1789

authagent
Premium
join:2002-11-08
Fenton, MO

Re: I agree with the PUC

Why would your cell phone not work if there was a power outage? Both cell phone's and POTS lines need electricity to run, and both have battery backups at the central office, and at the towers for cell phones.

What you are calling a lifeline is a POTS line. Please send me links showing anyone using the word lifeline to describe your twisted pair connection to the PSTN. In the telco industry Lifeline refers to special pricing for the low income crowd. If you want I can show you 100's of links proving that.

Where do you get your information that "VoIP is intended to displace the local traditional phone company." ????

You have no idea what you are talking about. The big telcos will be the biggest players in VoIP, and the vonages of the world will just be a blip on the radar. Sure the telcos will have to compete with cable companies now for residential customers, and perhaps business customers in the future.

Basically like Duke is Duke, VoIP is VoIP. No end of companies. No babies dying. No cell phones not working when electricity goes out. No making carrier class rules. No calling POTS lines, lifelines.... Thank you.
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

Re: I agree with the PUC

Here in Hawaii we refer to POTS also as lifeline service. Because that is what 911 from a landline is! I have read a lot of articles on the internet talking about Mainland 911 and in our newspapers in Hawaii and they frequently refer to 911 landline as lifeline services to distingush that kind of 911 from the pathetic 911 that is not real 911 but is offered by Vonage, TW, etc.

BTW, the service for extremely poor persons is not available to low income persons as I am low income and cannot get it. Only those with incomes below $10,000 a year are eligible. I have not checked in the last several years but I don't believe the Hawaii legislature has ever changed the rule although there has been talk about the limit being way too low especially in Hawaii with the very high cost of living. I used to be able to get it but there is no adjustment for the slight yearly increase in disability benefits that I get from Social Security Disability and so I am above the limit now but still low income. It started out many years ago at the $10,000 limit and that was realistic limit then. Today it is mostly a joke as frequently those below that limit are living in tents or on the streets and don't have a way to have a phone.

Verizon Hawaii is being sold to Carlyle simply because Verizon wants out of the landline business as that is dying. That is what I have read in our news media repeatedly. Hawaii needs tremendous upgrade of the lines and Verizon didn't want to put the necessary money into the upgrading. The Consumer Advocate has forced Carlyle to make a number of concessions and now approves of the sale. But many residents, observers and persons in the telco business think Hawaii will now be left far behind as far as technology goes and also that Carlyle is not going to do a thing about the DSL situation here. I live in the second largest city in the state and I cannot get DSL. Carlyle is only looking out for their investors and will probably sell in a few years. I, like many here, am opposed to this sale particularly to Carlyle.

As for cell phones, they can't be used in a lot of areas here and they go out frequently also when the electricity goes off I am told by people who have them. Plus, 911 from a cell phone is not true 911.
--
The first and foremost function of our jurors is to protect private citizens from a tyrannical and intrusive government...Jurors are the last line of defense for liberty. Thomas Jefferson 1789

authagent
Premium
join:2002-11-08
Fenton, MO

Re: I agree with the PUC

that sucks that you can't get DSL. Do you use dial up?

majorbludd

join:2005-01-09
Columbia, MO

1 edit
That was without a doubt the most brutal post ever.
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

Re: I agree with the PUC

said by majorbludd:

That was without a doubt the most brutal post ever.
Eh?