Vonage tells FCC a service provider blocked its calls

Vonage has reported to the FCC that a broadband provider blocked its VOIP calls.

US VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service provider Vonage Holdings has reported to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that a broadband Internet provider deliberately blocked Vonage customers' calls.

Vonage users who are customers of the broadband provider reported late last year that they suddenly couldn't use the Vonage service, said Brooke Schulz, vice president of corporate communications at Vonage. Vonage did some troubleshooting and discovered that network ports over which its calls traveled had been deliberately blocked, she said. Vonage then manually rerouted its calls through the network as a temporary solution to the problem, Schulz said. Schulz declined to name the broadband provider.

VOIP technology breaks up voice calls into data packets and sends them over IP networks, a transmission method that is more efficient than traditional telephone switching, generally leading to lower phone bills. Calls made on a VOIP service may travel over the broadband data network of a consumer's phone company or cable provider while bypassing that provider's own voice calling service.

Vonage believes deliberate blocking of its calls is illegal, according to Schulz.

"We think it's infringing upon the customer's right ... to use the service to the best of their ability and to suit their needs," she said.

Vonage met with the FCC earlier this month to discuss the problem but has not filed a complaint, Schulz said. The company is now waiting for a response from the FCC before it decides how to proceed, she said. An FCC spokeswoman declined to comment.

The incident Vonage discussed with the FCC was particularly disconcerting, Schulz said, but Vonage is also investigating other possible cases of call blocking.

Vonage has been a trailblazer in VOIP, expanding its local service to 44 U.S. states and coming up against regulatory challenges in the process. In a closely watched ruling last year, the FCC ruled that Vonage's DigitalVoice service could not be regulated by the states, after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission moved to regulate DigitalVoice like a traditional telecommunications service.

Vonage has approximately 400,000 customers, most of them in the U.S. and Canada, Schulz said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?