Last modified: February 12, 2004, 12:51 PM PST
By Declan McCullagh and Ben Charny
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
update Handing a partial victory to Internet phone providers, federal regulators said Thursday that voice communications flowing entirely over the Internet are not subject to traditional government regulations.
The Federal Communications Commission, in a split decision, approved a request from voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider Pulver.com to be immune from the hefty stack of government rules, taxes and requirements that applied to 20th-century telephone networks.
This is in no way different than e-mail and other peer-to-peer applications blossoming on the Internet," FCC Chairman Michael Powell said. "Such services have never been held to be telecom services." Commissioner Michael Copps opposed the decision, and Jonathan Adelstein said he partially dissented.
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