FCC grants VoIP service providers equal access to telephone numbers

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Some of you may not have known this was controversial, but the FCC this morning announced that going forward VoIP service providers such as Vonage will no longer be second-class citizens when it comes to the doling out of telephone numbers.

From an FCC press release:  

The Federal Communications Commission today modernized and streamlined its rules governing the distribution of phone numbers by leveling the playing field for interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, which are increasingly popular with consumers.

Interconnected VoIP providers – defined as those capable of placing and receiving calls to and from the traditional phone network -- currently must get numbers from third-party carriers.  Allowing these providers to go directly to numbering administrators for phone numbers will benefit consumers by reducing costs and promoting additional competition from these innovative VoIP providers, the FCC found.

The long-anticipated move had drawn opposition from some quarters for reasons that proved unpersuasive.

Maybe a lot of you didn’t know this was controversial.

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