Thursday, May 20, 2004

VoIP regulation shelters

So NYS ruled today to regulate Vonage. This means that me and several other NYS Vonage customers will probably find ourselves with slightly higher phone bills in the next few months. But let me toss this morsel out at you - who can be taxed by this?

Do I get taxed if the billing address on my service is in New York state? What if I have phone number with a NYS area code? With Vonage, I can technically live in New Jersey, but have a NYC number, or I can live in NY, and get billed in NY, but actually have a California phone number. Who gets taxed?

In theory it is difficult to trace where exactly on the Internet a call is made from - what if I buy service in New Jersey, but then plug my box into a broadband connection in New York? My phone number and billing address are in NJ, but the calls are being placed from NYC!!!!! I honestly don't think that even if the state were to require Vonage to track it, that they would be able to get an accurate detailed account of where all the calls were being made from.

I wonder how this will play out.

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