1. U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Defining Cable Services
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard opening arguments in the battle over the classification of IP based cable services by the FCC. In 2002, the FCC declared cable be classified as an information service, but in late 2003, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that cable operators should be subject to the same regulations as telcos.
The fight for cable regulation is being led by ISPs and organizations disguised as consumer advocacy groups. One filing to the court was submitted jointly by Earthlink, Brand
x,http,1,0,2005/04/03 0:00, The Center for Digital Democracy, and the Media Access Project.,,The RBOCs are supporting continued deregulation of cable services, with hopes that position will lead to telco deregulation, a scenario the Bells prefer over both providers being regulated.
The court is expected to affirm the FCC’s classification, but since the cable industry will be arguing its case based on the negligence of the 9th Circuit to apply the deferential framework established in the Chevron vs Natural Resources Defense Council case, there is a chance the case will get sent back to the 9th Circuit with instructions to apply the deferential Chevron standard.
A ruling that sided with the 9th Circuit would stir up issues related to the measure of authority the FCC has over telecommunications as well as hugely impact the economics of delivering cable modem and telephony services.
3. XConnect Offering Global Peering Service
London-based XConnect has launched a global VoIP peering service that allows service providers, carriers, and enterprises to interconnect with disparate networks and to exchange traffic over iBasis’ global network on a multi- lateral settlement free basis.
The service provider members include Gossiptel, Telio, Voz Telecom, and Yak Communications.
In addition to using the iBasis network, XConnect uses technology provided by NexTone and Kayote Networks.
5. Glamore Telecom Launches Consumer VoIP Service
Glamore Telecom has launched G-Tel Connect, a phone to phone consumer VoIP service that provides calling plans based on per minute calling. The available plans scale from an offering with no calling features for no monthly fee to a plan with voicemail, caller ID, online account management, and free incoming calls for a $14.95 per month base fee. Consumers have many CPE options ranging from IP phones starting at $130 and terminal adapters starting at $130. An IP phone designed to support a dial up Internet connection is available for $250.
The Dallas based service provider is targeting consumers in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, but currently is limited to assigning U.S. based phone numbers.
In addition to offering consumer services, Glamore also offers call center and Internet cafe solutions, a calling card platform, and a VoIP service solution for resellers and distributors.
7. TI Unveils PacketCable 1.5 Compliant VoCable Software
Texas Instruments has introduced new VoCable software compliant with PacketCable 1.5 specifications for eMTAs. The latest spec defines call signaling, QoS, CODECs, client provisioning, billing event message collection, PSTN interconnection and security interfaces for consumer VoIP services.
CableLabs’ newest spec is intended to improve the reliability of fax transmissions as well as provide cable modem manufacturers with the framework for developing embedded battery backup for UPS. 1.5 also enables cable operators to monitor voice metrics and adjust for real-time voice quality.