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FCC to Host VoIP Forum in December

The FCC has announced that it will hold a forum on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) issues on Monday, December 1, at its headquarters in Washington. FCC Chairman Michael Powell also said that the Commission will initiate a Notice of Public Rule Making following the forum, to "inquire about the migration of VoIP-based networks and to gather public comment on the appropriate regulatory environment" for these services.

As noted in the recently revised Eligible Services List issued by the Schools and Libraries Division, the FCC has said VoIP service will not be eligible as a telecommunications service at the current time, while the FCC reviews whether or not it should be. VoIP is prominent within the new generation of technological innovations that do not fall under any traditional regulatory regime.

For its December hearing, the FCC will invite both industry and government leaders to discuss how digital technologies are being used "to provide innovative and affordable voice services to consumers." Powell also said the Commission will also explore the best means to achieve useful spectrum allocation policies for health and safety objectives such as E911, universal service and homeland security. (FFL will provide details of the upcoming VoIP Forum as they become available.)

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