The ACTA Urges the FCC to Regulate Internet Telephony
The ACTA has announced that it has beseeched the FCC to adopt its proposals
regarding the regulation of Internet telephony. Its request is based on
recent forecasts predicting that Internet telephony will comprise 13
percent of the long distance market by 2002. The ACTA maintains that by
2002, Internet telephony may shelter $24 billion a year from universal
service fees via the ISP exemption. It predicts that the FCC’s continuance
of such exemptions will cause severe shortfalls in Universal Service funding.
In a related announcement, the FCC is now placing the regulation of
Internet telephony in the spotlight as it no longer exclusively permits
computer users to communicate but now enables connectivity from phone to
phone. Legislative bodies from states that are dependent upon universal
service fees oppose the ISP exemption from fees and want to close that
legal loophole. However, it will take some time to close that loophole
since lawmakers will need to enact policies that differentiate between
providing Internet service and providing Internet telephony service.
IDT has announced that, in response to the FCC’s proposal to regulate
Internet telephony, it will offer free PC-to-phone calls so that Americans
can lobby their congressmen against regulating Internet telephony.
Lobbiests can place the free calls to Representatives, Senators, and the
FCC by going to http://www.net2phone.com
America’s Carriers Telecommunication Association (ACTA)
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The IMTC Approves VoIP Interoperability Agreement Version 1
The IMTC has announced that its VoIP Forum has approved the VoIP
Interoperability Implementation Agreement 1.0 (IA1). The intent of the IA1
is to provide a common functionality that will allow different vendors
products to interoperate via H.323. Existing H.323 applications are not
always interoperable due to differences in codecs, the implementation of
address directory services, etc. This agreement will utilize existing IETF
and ITU protocols and services to ensure interoperability between products
from different vendors.
The approved IA1 document is available for download at http://www.imtc.org
The forum plans to extend the VoIP interoperability agreements to include
security, billing and settlement services, as well as multi-party calling.
International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium (IMTC)
NetSpeak to Introduce WebPhone 4.0
NetSpeak has announced the availability of WebPhone 4.0, an updated version
of its Internet telephone software. WebPhone 4.0 offers a redesigned user
interface and H.323 support using the G.723.1 audio codec. It will provide
features including access to account information and dialing parameters for
use with NetSpeak gateway products. In addition, it will enable the
logging of inbound and outbound calls and allow the recall of the last five
WebPhone 4.0 will be available within 30 days for download from
http://www.netspeak.com. It is priced at $49.95. Upgrades to version 4.0
are available at no charge. The phone will be available in a lite version,
WebPhone Home, which is priced at $19.95.
Elemedia Introduces H.323 Gatekeeper Toolkit
Elemedia, a Lucent Technologies subsidiary, has announced the introduction
of its H.323 Gatekeeper Toolkit. The toolkit is a modular software package
that provides the components necessary to develop H.323 version 2 compliant
The core software module of the toolkit will support services common to all
gatekeepers such as call control and registration. It will interface with
other modules via a C++ API. Other modules will enable functions including
policy and management, authentication and authorization, bandwidth
management, and call control services such as address translation.
In addition, an LDAP-based authenticator and an LDAP-based router are
available as modules. The LDAP-based authenticator uses a LDAP directory to
authenticate and authorize endpoints and callers. The LDAP-based router
uses a LDAP-directory to provide provision mappings for E.164 numbers and
gateways that support them. Both modules are built on a LDAP Session
Manager that handles interactions with multiple LDAP database servers.
The H.323 Gatekeeper Toolkit will initially be available for Solaris in May
1998, with support for Microsoft NT and Unix to follow.
ITXC and VIP Calling Inter-Connect Their Networks
ITXC has announced an agreement with VIP Calling to interconnect their IP
telephony networks. The combined network will interoperate with both
VocalTec and Vienna Systems gateways. The gateway software, however, will
not be interoperable, so the networks will be connected on a switch to
ITXC provides wholesale services to the Internet telephony industry
including network development and oversight, routing, authorization,
settlement, and call detail record processing.
VIP Calling is a facilities-based carrier utilizing the Internet to provide
wholesale international telecommunication services.
Internet Telephony eXchange Carrier (ITXC)
Internet Connect to Resell NTC’s Global IP Telephony Services
Internet Connect has announced a master distributor agreement with NTC to
resell NTC’s global IP telephony and Internet fax services over a private
backbone. Internet Connect plans to improve the QoS of the VoIP service by
giving voice packets priority over data packets on its network. Both
services will be offered to businesses and ISPs in Southern California.
Networks Telephony Corporation
Inter-Tel and Glocalnet Partner to Offer International Internet Telephony
Inter-Tel has announced that it has signed a MoU with Glocalnet AB
outlining their mutual intentions to form a multi-national IP telephony
network. According to the deal, Glocalnet will exchange voice traffic with
Inter-Tel enabling both companies to provide international long distance.
Since Glocalnet’s network utilizes Inter-Tel’s Vocal’Net IP telephony
gateways, the networks will interoperate.
Glocalnet currently has a European VoIP network deployed with installed
POPs in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm. Inter-Tel’s long distance IP
telephony network, Inter-Tel.net, currently maintains POPs in Chicago, Los
Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, Reno, San Jose and Washington DC. Both
companies currently plan to expand the coverage of this network this year.
SkyWave Partners with Portal to Provide Internet Telephony Solution
Portal Software has announced that it will supply its Infranet customer
management and billing software to SkyWave on an OEM basis. Under the terms
of the agreement, the Infranet software will be integrated into SkyWave’s
NetManager ’98. The solution will enable ITSPs to manage their services in
SkyWave’s NetManager will monitor and manage an Internet telephony gateway
network. By integrating Portal’s Infranet software, NetManager will enable
real-time monitoring of all gateway activity. Its functions will include
account creation and registration, caller authentication and authorization,
credit verification, prepaid phone card usage and settlement among
originating and terminating providers.