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FTC: Internet phone use regulation to come

Feb. 24, 2004 at 6:52 PM

CHICAGO, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Federal Trade Commission Chairman Michael Powell said Tuesday in Chicago the commission has begun a regulatory environment for U.S. Internet telephones.

Internet voice services come in several ways such as computer to computer or the Internet user calls a traditional phone, Powell said.

Powell told SUPERCOMM, a conference for communication service providers that while restraining from regulating the economics of Internet applications has served the United States well, the government must preserve and advance venerable social and security policies such universal service, 911, law enforcement and disability rights.

"We are focused on addressing and advancing our social objectives of public safety and 911, universal service, homeland security and access for people with disabilities," Powell said.

Entrepreneurs may be a Web site and a server away from offering services that mirror those of a "phone" company, Powell said.

"At our February meeting, the Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to look at the issues surrounding these applications," he said.

"We are also keeping a watchful eye for anti-competitive conduct by owners of broadband networks to ensure our citizens can tap the full potential of the Internet in a broadband world."

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