The Federal Communication Commission has been talking about allowing VoIP carriers limited direct access to telephone numbers, and TransNexus has put out a report summarizing the history and current status of the effort, and analyzing what it would mean for VoIP peering and settlements.
This spring, the commission prepared a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on direct access for VoIP providers and granted a limited trial of direct access to telephone numbers to Vonage and other VoIP providers. At the time, Vonage issued the following statement from its Chief Legal Officer Kurt Rogers: "Direct access to telephone numbers is the future of telecommunications. It allows for lower-cost, higher-quality voice service and innovation in developing new services, which benefits consumers. The limited trial will provide real-world data to demonstrate that the technical concerns raised by some opponents are without merit."
Vonage CFO Dave Pearson in a July 31 conference call added: "If the proposed rules are adopted, that will facilitate the shift to direct IP to IP interconnection and enable long term structural cost savings in the double digit millions of dollars in the subsequent two to three years."
The TransNexus report says direct access will eliminate the need for many of the middleman functions, thus dramatically changing the role of wholesale service providers in the interconnection process, as well as the role of retail service providers for enterprises. VoIP peering also provides the vehicle to expand advanced services and features beyond the service provider networks, according to TransNexus.
"VoIP peering is actually already here,” noted TransNexus President Jim Dalton. “We have customers peering within private networks already using the TransNexus OSPrey routing server. Direct access will move peering out of private networks and into the public network."
The TransNexus report is called "VoIP and Direct Access: An Update on the FCC VoIP Trial" and is available for free download on the TransNexus website.