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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?