NASUCA Files Federal Appeal to Protect Internet Telephone ...
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - NASUCA Files Federal Appeal to Protect Internet Telephone ...
Contact: Charles Acquard
John R. Perkins
Nation’s consumer advocates file federal appeal to protect
Internet telephone customers
Silver Spring, MD – January 11, 2005 – The National Association of State Utility Consumer
Advocates (NASUCA) today appealed a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
decision that, unless overturned, will restrict the ability of states to protect consumers who use a
broadband connection for their local and long-distance telephone service. The advocates filed their
appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis.
NASUCA believes the FCC order was unreasonable and unlawfully takes away the ability for
states to provide consumer protection standards.
“Consumers across the country deserve telephone choices that include essential protections and
safeguards provided by the states,” said John Perkins, President of NASUCA and the consumer
advocate for the state of Iowa. “While monthly prices should not be controlled, advocates from
across the country join together to ensure that consumers are provided, for example, 9-1-1 emergency
Called Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, telephone service over broadband is being marketed
throughout much of the country as a substitute for consumers’ traditional home telephone service. On
November 9, the FCC decided that VoIP companies are to be exempt from many state regulations
that apply to other local and long-distance telephone providers.
Under the FCC’s ruling, states are prohibited from requiring VoIP companies to provide customers
with access to 9-1-1. The FCC also prohibits state utility commissions from registration requirements
that apply to traditional telephone companies. Typically, states have existing service quality
standards that registered telephone companies must follow.
NASUCA believes that states – not the FCC – should determine the state consumer protections to
which VoIP customers are entitled. Beyond 9-1-1 and other public safety issues, service quality,
billing and dispute resolution are important areas for states to address. NASUCA also believes that
customers are entitled to receive understandable contracts with clear disclosure of all fees before
signing up for VoIP service.
The National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) is an association of 42
advocate offices. Members are designated by laws of their respective states to represent the interests
of utility consumers before state and federal regulators and in the court.