VoIP and Direct Access - An Update on the FCC VoIP Trial

Since the Communications Act of 1934, only telephone carriers who had a state certification and/or an FCC license could directly access local numbers. However, these regulations have not translated into the world of IP.

More IP carriers are moving into voice services, but find themselves at a competitive disadvantage because they don’t have this type of licensing requirement, but need access to local numbers for their customers.

In April of 2013, this issue came before the FCC, and plans were put in place to make direct access to telephone numbers a reality for Interconnected VoIP providers. As one company put it, “The manner by which a carrier transmits communications, whether by TDM, IP or two Dixie cups and a string is irrelevant to whether a carrier should have access to number resources for the benefit of the public it serves.

This paper gives a high level overview of these FCC proceedings, as well as an update on the progress of the project and insight into the potential ramifications.