In what is clearly meant to be both a hedge against losing money to VoIP competitors by slowing them down by charging them more, SBC has also at the same time made a move that could potentially make their VoIP service less costly.
In a tarriff filing today, SBC wants to charge ISP's more if they terminate calls on their network according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.(Subscription Required)
Sadly, this is so typical from a company that seeks total control and ownership of the pipe and the customer and which sees their competition not being the other telcos and next generation VoIP providers, but also the cable MSOs.
Yesterday I called all this an arms race. Now it's turning into economic warfare as well. Smartly, FCC Chairman Michael Powell has already announced he's looking into this. Don't also be surprised if this is also bargaining chip by SBC to establish some preferred provider relationships with ISP's and MSO's to get more of the data traffic as well as voice calls moving over their networks. While Level 3, MCI, Qwest, Broadwing and AT&T have significant if not the most traffic, SBC has also built out their own IP network, and that's a network that needs filling up. It would not be out of the realm of possbility that companies working with SBC get some sort of incentives and all this is a rouse to get them there.....
In the meantime it's important that all of the VOIP companies and the ISP's band together to work to stop what is meant to be clearly another square on SBC's Monopoly Board game.