ICQ Will Be Regulated!

From - Neo - <neobop@antionline.org>
Date Tue, 16 May 2000 08:59:49 -0700

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This is NOT A HOAX! 
The Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to push through a bill on Tuesday that caves in to the Bell Companies and opens the door for the FCC to regulate and impose access charges on IP voice services. On May 10, the House Commerce Committee took HR 1291, which was written to prevent the FCC from imposing per-minute access charges on ISPs, and turned it on its head by carving out an exception for what it calls "Internet telephone" services. (see http://com-notes.house.gov/5102000full/amendment1.pdf) The new version of the bill, which will be brought to the floor for a vote Tuesday, May 16 voted to allow the FCC to impose access charges on Internet telephony "irrespective of the type of customer premises equipment used in connection with such services" - in other words, whether provided via phone, computer, or some other device. 

If the bill passes, it signals the FCC and other regulators that IP voice services can and maybe should be regulated like circuit-switched telephony. 

The bill is opposed by virtually every high tech and Internet company and trade association. 

The Republican House leadership, Speaker Hastert, Majority Leader Armey, and Majority Whip DeLay, say that they are moving the legislation to show that they support the Internet community and on many issues they do. But on this one, they are plowing forward despite being told by the Internet community that this is not a pro-Internet bill. 

I urge you to call (+ and email your Representative and the House Leadership with the message that HR 1291 is a mistake. The Internet should remain unregulated, without no exceptions for voice applications and services. http://www.house.gov and http://www.house.gov/writerep will help you locate the address of your Representative. 
email for the House Leadership is: 

Speaker Hastert: speaker@mail.house.gov. 
House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley: tom.bliley@mail.house.gov

House Commerce Communications Subscommittee Chairman Billy Tauzin: billy.tauzin@mail.house.gov 
Let them know that: 

If they open the door to regulating any Internet service, it will set a terrible precedent 
Using the Internet for voice communications is a good thing and should not be regulated or taxed. Consumers will be hurt and only the old monopoly telephone companies will benefit. 
Internet voice services are used mostly by low income people for international communications, as a substitute for vastly inflated international long-distance calls. 
A new source of privacy concerns, as companies pry apart traffic streams to determine what's "voice" 
Click here to join a mailing list where you will receive updates regarding the status of HR 1291. 

Kind regards,

Jeff Pulver

As found at pulver.com, Inc. All rights reserved. 

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