News.com has a longish story on why Vonage decision could be a problem for the Baby Bells.
“The ones with the most to lose from the spread of Internet telephony are the four regional Bell operating companies, which had a near-monopoly lock on local phone services until the Internet phone providers came into existence. In a statement issued Tuesday, BellSouth Vice President Jonathan Banks urged the FCC to “create a similar regime for all IP-enabled networks and services.” He describes the FCC’s decision as a “critical step towards encouraging the deployment” of such services nationwide. ”
Actually the Bells are pretty thrilled about this ruling, because even they get to enjoy the “regulation-less” benefits of the Vonage decision. Susanne Guyer, senior vice president – federal regulatory affairs for Verizon says that “The FCC’s decision today to establish that VoIP services such as those offered by Verizon are to be regulated on a uniform basis at the federal level – rather than being encumbered by a patchwork of potentially inconsistent state rules – is a positive first step toward allowing VoIP to flourish in an environment of robust competition.”
Just like with DSL, I am of firm belief that the Bells, would be amongst the ultimate winners in the VoIP sweepstakes. (Cable MSOs and IXCs like Sprint and AT&T are other likely winners!) The current generation of upstarts would vanish like bubbles on the surface of a quiet pond.