Jeffrey Citron is here to talk a little about Vonage, and a whole lot about regulatory — that’s what he says. That’s great. The last time I saw him speak it was a stump speech for Vonage — a live press release.
Vonage’s strategy has four key planks:
- Improve people’s lives. Using Vonage should be a better and easier experience than your old phone service.
- Erase geographic boundaries. It should be as easy to call friends and family on the other side of the world as it is to call next door.
- A culture of innovation. Continual innovation on new features.
- A strong commitment to value. Great price and value with Vonage services.
Jeffrey then makes an announcement – his broadband bill of rights. This is defined as:
The right to connect any device to the network.
The right to transmit and receive data.
The right access anything on the internet
The right to privacy.
The right to broadband.
He relates the right to connect any device to the network back to the victories in the 1960’s and 70’s that allowed consumers to connect any handset to the telephone company’s network. Devices that don’t harm the network must be allowed to connect.
The right to transmit data is the right to send packets on the network without being modified by the network operator.
The right to access the internet is the right to visit any site, application, or portal unencumbered by the service provider.
The right to privacy gives you the right to use the internet for any kind of communications or other lawful practices without your permission.
The right to high quality broadband is the right to transmit and receive at last 1 megabit/second continuous service. It must mean all of the time, not some of the time.
Obviously these are all things that the broadband voice providers like Vonage need. He couches these in terms of consumer rights, and regulatory requirements.
So, he announced the Broadband Bill of Rights. He’s working with industry leaders to draft policy guidelines, to released in a few weeks as an industry whitepaper. Ultimately he would like to see these "rights" become FCC policy.
Net net, he would like to see the disaggregation of transport and application enshrined in FCC policy. Hear hear! No argument from me on that one.
I don’t think of these as "rights" per se, so although the ideas are incredibly important, the presentation really grated on me. Maybe I’ve been living in Canada too long.