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Friday, May 09, 2014

So long, voice, don't let the VoIP hit you on the way out

Driving my daughter to school this morning, I thought of another problem with trying to keep VoIP eligible if traditional voice is removed from the program.  It's cell phones.

It's pretty clear Chairman Wheeler wants to toss traditional voice out of the program: schools need to "evolve from analog voice to digital voice services."  It's not a question of whether to get rid of voice, but "What’s the best way to phase down support for legacy services like voice...?"  It's not so clear whether VoIP will get the heave-ho.

I'm in favor of getting rid of voice, too, especially cell phones, but I don't see how you can craft a loophole for VoIP.  Chairman Wheeler tries to draw a distinction between "traditional" and "digital" voice.  That's a might blurry line in general, and is even blurrier for cell phones.  Cell carriers are migrating to LTE for voice calls, and LTE is an IP-based protocol.  So some cell calls are VoIP or more accurately VoLTE-wioIP (Voice over LTE--which is over IP), and eventually all calls will be.  If you bought your phone recently, you have no control over whether your voice calls ride over LTE (VoIP) or 3G (circuit-switched).

Let's get VoWhatever out of the program.

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