(Scroll down to see the infographic)
Many say that VoIP is set to eliminate traditional communications with better quality and lower costs. It is estimated that VoIP has already hit 288 million users and it is forecasted to reach the one billion mark in the next few years.
NET NEUTRALITY – FCC VS THE COURT OF APPEALS
It is difficult to say for sure, but net neutrality, the FCC rule that requires internet providers to treat online traffic equally, may have played an important role in the success and popularity of VoIP. The infographic below shows the three “rules” that the FCC instituted in 2010 to govern the neutrality of the internet and how their guidelines and restrictions apply to fixed (personal and business) and mobile usage.
- Transparency: Providers must disclose accurate information regarding their access, performance and network management practices.
- Access: Providers are forbidden to deny fixed users access to content, applications and services, while mobile users be given free reign to connect with websites, applications (apps) and competing telephone services.
- Discrimination: Providers are not allowed to unfairly discriminate in the transmission of lawful network traffic over a consumers’ broadband internet service.
But in direct opposition to the FCC neutrality principle, the US Court of Appeals ruled that for companies who are willing to pay more, they could afford faster and more efficient services. The court found that the FCC overstepped their bounds and with their ruling they are allowing internet providers the ability to negotiate special deals with internet sites and content providers. An ISP can also charge extra premiums for some types of delivery.
UNFAIR TO VOIP AND SMALL BUSINESS
As it always has been, time is money and when it comes to the internet, speed is everything. Given just a one second delay online, customer satisfaction declines, conversion rates drop and websites get fewer page views.
This puts not only VoIP providers, but also small businesses and consumers at a tremendous disadvantage over their wealthier counterparts. Since VoIP relies on the delivery of their messages across a high-speed network, significant features will be lost or diminished when using a slower bandwidth. Dropped calls, a decrease in voice quality, less feature availability, errors and delays will all surface in a slower environment.
JOIN THE REVOLUTION
Not just the VoIP industry, but many other small businesses and consumers are crying foul. As Americans, we have the right to raise our voices and when the FCC opened their site for comments from Joe Public, their servers crashed several times due to the overwhelming response and traffic.
Even though the FCC closed public comments on September 10th, there is still more that we can do to stop mobile giants like Verizon from taking even more money from our business and personal bank accounts.
Start your own campaign today or join up with others, like Net Neutrality or Bust! and sign their petition for Internet Freedom. Net Neutrality will ensure that the internet remains a free, fair, equal environment and without it, we are all one step closer to web censorship.
This article was contributed by Dave Landry Jr., –a global entrepreneur and business journalist; Gryffin.com.