tw telecom argues that IP voice should be designated a telecom service

tw telecom (Nasdaq: TWTC) has made a plea to the FCC to classify IP-based voice calls as telecom services, a measure that could reduce the interconnection costs competitive service providers pay to the ILECs.

Kelsi Reeves, vice president of federal government relations for tw telecom, told Connected Planet that while "everybody is putting in IP switches" the "incumbents are saying they have no obligation to interconnect on an IP-to-IP basis."

tw telecom has established IP voice interconnection agreements with other CLECs, but not with any of the ILECs like AT&T (NYSE: T) or Verizon  (NYSE: VZ). Whenever tw telecom needs to interconnect an IP-based call on an ILEC's network, it must convert the call to TDM.

There are, of course, some obvious benefits tw telecom believes a direct IP connection would have for its customers. A direct IP connection would reduce tw telecom's call charges--because it does not use as many facilities since a direct IP connection uses the SIP protocol versus SS7--and would improve service quality.

Incumbent carriers, including the large RBOCs and larger independents that serve more rural areas like Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), not only want to control "terms and conditions," but also want to continue to collect access charges at current rates so they can keep their phone service affordable.

For more:
- Connected Planet has this article

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