From the SIP Trunking Experts

December 03, 2013

FCC VoIP Direct Access Trial Goes Under Microscope In New Report

By Steve Anderson Contributing SIP Trunking Report Writer

Recently, TransNexus brought out a new report taking a closer look at the FCC's recent decision to allow voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) carriers direct access—if on something of a limited scale—to telephone numbers. The report takes a closer look at the broader implications of the FCC's move, and suggests some very interesting points afoot should the limited trial go into a wider effect.

The TransNexus report—entitled “VoIP and Direct Access: An Update on the FCC VoIP Trial” and available at TransNexus' website--went more in depth on a variety of topics related to such a move, including issues of cash flow and call flow, the background of what went into the decision, a set of recent updates as to how the trial was getting along, and even the potential long-term ramifications of such a trial.

The early word, meanwhile, suggested that the trial was going quite well even in its comparative infancy. Dave Pearson, the CFO of Vonage, said back on a conference call in late July that the early trials were moving forward, and reporting sound results in the meantime. But beyond the range of the trial, reports suggested that there were some big changes afoot at the FCC as it took on the issue of VoIP and all its similar offerings.

Indeed, one major change noted was the growth of VoIP peering. TransNexus president Jim Dalton describes VoIP peering as “already here,” and goes on to elaborate: “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 points to several potential benefits of such a move, as well as some potential drawbacks. Beyond VoIP peering, the TransNexus report points to lower overall costs thanks  to increased ease in determining who is sharing traffic and accompanying benefits to improved traffic exchange and termination systems, as well as better efficiency in terms of call routing, which also contributes to lower costs to a certain degree. Improvements in innovation are also listed as potential benefits of such a system. Yet there were also potential problems with such a system, starting with an overall number exhaust possibility as well as issues involved with call routing. Yet the TransNexus report points out that these issues really aren't much of a cause for concern with a little advance preparation.

Though the trial access isn't exactly widespread as of yet, there's still plenty of room to suggest that this is going well, and will likely continue so to do. After all, many are already using VoIP service as a way to cut down on bills and get access to expanded services. Indeed, the user market is already somewhat going past VoIP and on into Web-based real time communications (WebRTC), where users are getting access to not only voice calls but also video conferencing and all from a standard Web browser.

The TransNexus report shows fine numbers so far—no routing failures and no billing or compensation disputes to be seen—and will likely continue to do so with a little foresight and some decent planning. There's still some room for error here, so a close watch will need to be kept on the proceedings. But making the switch from a land line telephone to VoIP may be sooner on the horizon for more people than ever considered.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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