The US Supreme Court's decision to uphold FCC rules allowing cable operators to block rival Internet providers from distributing their branded, high-speed Internet services over cable operators' own broadband networks could have a huge impact on the VoIP industry. The Court's 6-3 ruling upheld an earlier FCC decision saying cable operators were exempt from common-carrier regulations that apply to phone companies. Cable operators will likely respond to the decision by folding VoIP telephony into discount packages offering Internet access, phone, TV, and other services.
As a result, ISP VoIP independents, such as EarthLink, will have to bear larger upfront costs, shift cable access expenses to their customers, or cut deals with DSL providers. Analysts and insiders claim the ruling is a big win for cable companies and a major loss for pure-play VoIP providers and ISPs.
For more on the Supreme Court's cable ruling:
- go to this piece from Forbes
PLUS: Will the Supreme Court's decision impact peer-to-peer VoIP providers like Skype? Blog