Did anyone not expect that the USF would be imposed upon VoIP? Vonage challenged the FCC 64.9% "safe harbor" estimate handed down last year, noting that traditional telcos pay just 11.7% of their long distance revenue into the USF. The FCC reasoned that VoIP was more like cellular service, which pays 37.1%. Vonage disagreed. As for the court?
"Because VoIP's functionality and customer profile differ from those of other technologies, reasoning by analogy in this way invites some inevitable imprecision," the court ruled. "We agree with Vonage that this difference in capabilities renders the VoIP/wireline toll service analogy imperfect. Perfection, however, is not what the law requires."
The price of VoIP calling edges ever closer to ordinary phone service.