In our first post regarding SB 1161, which would prohibit, subject to certain exceptions, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other state and local agencies from regulating VoIP and other IP-enabled services, we offered some insights and historical background regarding the status of the CPUC’s jurisdiction over those services under California law. As we explained in that post, our view is that, as a matter of California law, providers of VoIP and other IP-enabled telecommunications providers are probably subject to, or potentially subject to, regulation by the CPUC as public utility telephone corporations. We did not address, however, the extent to which the CPUC’s authority may have been expressly preempted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its 2004 Minnesota Vonage Preemption Order. We will take a look at that issue, now. Continue reading “Effect of the FCC’s Minnesota Vonage Preemption Order on CPUC Regulation of Intrastate IP-enabled Services”

A bill now pending before the California Legislature (SB 1161 [Padilla])  would prohibit, subject to certain exceptions and, for now, only until 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other state and local agencies from regulating VoIP and other IP-enabled services. At the time of this posting, the bill has passed the Senate and is now making its way through the Assembly. Proponents of the bill contend that it is intended merely to preserve the regulatory status quo. Opponents do not claim otherwise, but express concern that while the CPUC has not previously determined it necessary to regulate this segment of the telecommunications industry, the CPUC’s ability to do so should be preserved, lest, among other things, a marketplace failure or other circumstance requires swift remedial action to protect consumer interests. Continue reading “Legislative Proposal to Bar State Regulation of VOIP and Other IP-Enabled Services”