VON Coalition Formed

Tak Utsumi (utsumi@solar.rtd.utk.edu)
Mon, 18 Mar 1996 23:41:02 -0500 (EST)

<<03/18/96, 10:49 pm>>

Dear Electronic Colleagues:

(1) Attached is FYI.

Best, Tak

Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 16:21:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeff Pulver <jeff@Pulver.COM>
To: vonyes@Pulver.COM
Subject: [VNYES]: ** Announcement ** VON Coalition Formed
Sender: owner-vonyes@Pulver.COM
Precedence: bulk


New York, NY, March 18/PRNewswire/ - The "Voice On the Net" (VON) Coalition
(http://www.von.org/) announces its formation in response to recent phone
company attepts to regulate Internet services. The VON Coalition is
taking action to preserve the worldwide network as a place for emerging
technologies and business. Charter VON members include Internet users,
technology companies and others intent on keeping the Internet open to all
forms of electronic commerce, including voice transmission.

The issue of voice on the Internet has heated up in recent weeks. New
technology advances have led to the availability of computer programs that
allow people to carry on real-time voice conversations over the Internet.
While Internet calls are not of the same high quality as those placed
through traditional long distanceervices, they offer some compelling
advantages. For example, using this technology, school children in a rural
American community could easily and inexpensively communicate with a
scientist in London. Their conversation could include video and drawings
along with interactive voice transmission. A growing number of Internet
voice products, including VocalTec Inc.'s (NASDAQ: VOCLF) Internet Phone
and Quarterdeck's (NASDAQ:QDEK) WebTalk, can be purchased today. Other
companies including Intel, Microsoft, and Netscape, have announced their
intent to produce similar products.

The Long Distance industry, however, is trying to stop this competition.
On March 4, ACTA, a trade association representing 130 of America's long
distance companies, filed a petition asking the FCC to block the sale and
use of such software products. ACTA is further asking that the FCC step in
and begin regulating use of the Internet.

The VON Coalition, along with the majority of Internet users, vehemently
opposes such regulation. Public notice of the ACTA petition was issued on
March 8, 1996 by the FCC (Report No. 2124). Comments to the petition must
be submitted to the FCC by April 8, 1996. The VON Coalition will take a
lead role in opposing the ACTA filing.

"ACTA is, in effect, attempting to eliminate outside competition by banning
emerging technologies" says VON Coalition Chairman Jeff Pulver. "The
immediate mission of the VON Coalition is to persuade the FCC to deny the
ACTA petition."

"The ACTA petition asks the FCC to 'define the type of permissible
communication which may be effected over the Internet'", says Elon Ganor,
Chairman & CEO of VocalTec, Inc. "This is the kind of regulation that the
US government and people have traditionaly criticized third world countries


"ACTA is asking that the FCC declare specific software companies as
'Telecom Carriers'", Ganor continues. "Microsoft and Netscape recently
announced audio and video strategies for the Internet. Does this mean they
are now telecom carriers? Where will we draw the line?"

Howard Gordon, President of Xing Technologies, makers of the Streamworks
audio and video streaming product, says his organization is strongly
opposed to any efforts which limit the ability of content providers to
develop alternative distribution channels.

"While the ACTA filing directly targets 2-way communications, we expect
it's only a matter of time before similar efforts are directed against
Internet radio and television broadcasting", says Gordon.

According to VON Coalition member Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., Laureate of the
prestigious Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education, "The
U.S. data communication networks such as ARPANET, Telenet (now SprintNet),
and the Internet, have been unregulated since the early 1980s. The fact
that these networks were unregulated allowed the use of email to
successfully replace more expensive Telex communications."

Charter members of the VON Coalition include: VocalTec, Inc. (NASDAQ:
VOCLF), Voxware Inc., VDONet Corproation, Jabra Corporation, FreeTel
Communications, Inc., The DSP Group (NASDAQ: DSPG), Insoft, White Pine
Software, Netspeak Corporation, Xing Technology Inc., IDT Corporation,
GLOSAS/USA and GU/USA, and Electric Magic Company.

Individuals and corporations interested joining the VON Coalition can visit
the VON web site at http://www.von.org/. Anyone interested in submitting
individual comments to the FCC may do so by writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
1919 M Street
Washington, DC 20554

All responses to the FCC should include a reference to Rulemaking No. 8775.

The FCC's website is http://www.fcc.gov.
-0- 3/18/96
/CONTACT: Sandy Combs, Director, VON Coalition, 802-878-9884 or
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D. *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education *
* Founder of CAADE *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education) *
* President, Global University in the U.S.A. (GU/USA) *
* A Divisional Activity of GLOSAS/USA *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A. *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* INTERNET: utsumi@columbia.edu; Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676 *