Voice over IP

Andre' Kesteloot akestelo@bellatlantic.net
Wed, 17 May 2000 07:37:51 -0400

by Dave Murphy, member@itrain.org

For over a year a rumor circulated the net that a
Congressman Tony Schnell had sponsored bill, H.B.602P,
to impose per-minute access fees on Internet users. Both
the congressman and bill number are fictitious. The hoax
was accepted prima facie by so many constituents who
created such a stir, lawmakers acted. The U.S. House of
Representatives passed the Internet Access Charge
Prohibition Act on Tuesday. This bill is intended to forestall
a problem that doesn't even exist..

"Constituents from across the sixth congressional district
wrote and called by the thousands expressing their
outrage at such a concept," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte
(R-Va.) "Today, the House of Representatives has taken
the appropriate step to ensure that such access fees
never materialize."

The Internet Access Charge Prohibition Act, H.R. 1291,
prohibits the Federal Communications Commission from
imposing per-minute access fees on Internet users. Calls
to ISPs are not subject to such fees. The FCC does not
have plans to impose such fees, and called the legislation

But in a surprising twist, an amendment sponsored by Fred
Upton (R-Mich) includes language that leaves the door
open to the Federal Communications Commission to levy
access charges on VOIP (Voice Over IP) technologies.
VOIP supporters are, not surprisingly, upset with Upton's