-and-Take?"> Like others in the FCC, Powell said he was especially proud of the action taken in the case of Madison River Communications, the ISP that in February allegedly began blocking ports used for VOIP traffic. Following complaints by Vonage Holdings Corp. and another ISP, the FCC began investigating on Feb. 11 to see whether Madison Rivers actions violated provisions of the Communications Act of 1934. Madison River did not admit wrongdoing, but it made a "voluntary" payment of $15,000 to the U.S. Treasury and agreed to stop blocking the ports used in VOIP just a few weeks later. "For those of you not used to regulation, three weeks was light speed," Powell said.Not surprisingly, representatives of the VOIP industry favored the man who had championed their business. "He was very open about his support for VOIP," said Andre Poliszuk, director of marketing and business development in systems at Consultronics Ltd., a Canadian manufacturer of DSL test equipment in Concord, Ontario. "We are debating the same things in Canada, and regulators there dont have the same viewpoint [on VOIP]." Other attendees said Powell and others in the FCC have fostered an era of give-and-take among industry members, including a "town hall" meeting Monday night where consumers, regulators, industry executives and investors had a chance to question and interact with FCC regulators. Powell said he hoped the VOIP industry would continue the dialogue. "You are the teachers. You are the leaders," Powell said. "You need to show public policy the way." That dialogue moved the industry forward, according to Michael Finegan, a senior WAN solutions specialist at Sprint Corp. in San Francisco. "What I really hope to see in a new replacement is one as favorable to the community," Finegan said. He added that he appreciated Powells support of the VOIP industry. Without government support, he said, young industries can die. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.
Powell has called for a clear timeline in the switch to digital television. Click here to read more.