1. Andrew

    Can someone explain to me why Vonage would even be able to dispute that the local isp has the right to control its network in whatever way it seems fit? I know that comcast blocks 80 just cause they don’t want people running webservers and to protect against that silly worm that happened awhile ago. If they don’t want to expose certain ports in their network why should they have to?

  2. Ben

    It sort of depends on what ports they are blocking, and why. When I sign up for an ISP service that offers full internet access, I expect to get it. Imagine if an ISP decided that you only needed to use their web services, rather than all that other junk on the internet, and blocked port 80 _outbound_.

    There is a real danger that ISPs will begin blocking third party VoIP providers because they don’t want the competition with their own services. This would be no problem if I could just pick and choose my ISP, but there is exactly 1 wireline broadband ISP I can get at my house, and it operate as a protected monopoly. (Yes, I realize that the real problem is the protected monopoly…)

  3. Andrew

    So basicaly we are looking at unfair competition laws? This of course would be dependent on whether or not the ISP offers its on VOIP service correct? So in theory they should be able to block it until they have a service of their own at which point they would invoke unfair competition or monopoly laws right? (btw I want to use the hat as my piece).

  4. Adam Roach

    This of course would be dependent on whether or not the ISP offers its on VOIP service correct?

    No; it would be dependent on whether the ISP offers its own voice service, regardless of the transport used for that voice. For LECs providing DSL, this is automatically the case.

  5. fluffy

    This article is really really short on facts – what ISP? Some country I seem to recall once passed a law to block port 5060. Anyways, vonage could trivial reconfigure their ATA to change the Port every hour. I suspect that if ISP want to block VoIP, it will be done in a much more subtle and justifiable way than this.

  6. Amy

    I am in the US. I support SIP phones for my employer, and they use UDP port 5060. I have had trouble with the traffic being blocked by both Comcast and Verizon. Like Ben says, people usually don’t have very many ISP options, at least not here in the US. You can use the free market to stop unfair practices because the market is not free. There’s a monopoly by the ISP’s who also want to provide phone service. In order to give smaller companies the opportunity to even be in the market and provide competition there needs to be laws to stop unfair practices.

    The owner of a small local ISP had a great idea. He suggested connectivity infrastructure to a home should be a part of new construction, like water, and electricity, but then a consumer should be able to select any ISP they like to provide service over that line. That would really encourage competition in the market because much smaller startups would be able to get their foot in the door.