Originally published: May 29, 2014
Last updated: May 29, 2014 - 6:48pm
A substantial portion of global voice communications are now carried over Internet Protocol (IP) and the Internet has become a fundamental medium supporting voice services.
Voice over IP (VoIP) services allow users to make calls between IP-based endpoints, and to interconnect with the traditional public switched telephone network. Impairment, failure, or restriction of VoIP services can create significant problems for users of those services, and can create problems for the operators of VoIP services, who may be required to troubleshoot or work around issues (where possible) to restore their users’ connectivity.
As VoIP services become more common around the world, incidences of VoIP impairment, failure, or restriction also have the potential to be construed as anti-competitive, discriminatory, or motivated by non-technical factors. With this report BITAG clarifies how VoIP may be impaired, fail, or be restricted in residential, mobile, application provider, and consumer networks and devices; the methods for mitigating VoIP impairments, failures, or restrictions; and recommendations concerning such. Among other things, the report recommends that:
- Network operators should avoid impairing or restricting VoIP applications unless no reasonable alternatives are available to resolve technical issues.
- VoIP-related Application Layer Gateways (ALGs) in operator-supplied home routers should minimize their impact on traffic other than the operator’s VoIP service where possible.
- Manufacturers of home routers should disable VoIP-related ALGs by default.
- Port blocking rules in consumer equipment should be user-configurable.
- If network operators intentionally use network policies or practices that impair or restrict VoIP, they should provide disclosures about those policies and practices and provide communications channels for feedback.
- Application developers should design VoIP applications to be port-agile where possible.
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- Why the net neutrality debate also matters for VoIP
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- What Comes Next in the IP Transition: Voluntary, Service-Based Experiments
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- Can the FCC Handle Phone Service over the Internet?
- Report: AT&T TDM-to-IP Transition Trial Results are Disappointing
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- FCC To Hold Open Commission Meeting June 13
- Network neutrality ruling complicates US transition to IP networks
- Principles for a Successful IP Transition: Openness