This news story made it onto our radar.
Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown signed California SB-1161, "Communications: Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled communications service.(2011-2012)" into law. The law prohibits the California PUC from regulating VoIP services.
Traditionally, voice telecom services are viewed as public utilities and regulated by state PUCs. But, VoIP, an IP service that is a substitute for traditional wireline voice, has been in a gray area. This law makes a clear delineation.
The stated purpose of the SB-1161 is:
(1) Preserve the future of the Internet by encouraging continued investment and technological advances and supporting continued consumer choice and access to innovative services that benefit California.
(2) Ensure a vibrant and competitive open Internet that allows California’s technology businesses to continue to flourish and contribute to economic development throughout the state.
"Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations, as defined.