Verizon takes down Broadvoice again (I think)

Posted on Friday 9 June 2006

Yesterday many people were unable to reach me via my Asterisk-based unified number system.   They could call, but all they would get was dead air.  It’s back up now, but it was certainly inconvenient.  I called tech support at my VoIP provider (Broadvoice), and was told that there was an “issue” with a “third party carrier”, that affected “all customers in a very wide area”.   My number had been off the air since Wednesday evening, and didn’t come back for approximately 24 hours.

Here’s what I think was going on — and please note this is an (educated) opinion but just an opinion.   And I’m writing it because I’m angry.  

Broadvoice is owned by the same corporate structure that owns Global NAPS.   Global NAPS is one of the countries largest CLECs and has an excellent east coast national fiber network and LATA footprint.  It would make perfect sense that Broadvoice would use GNAPS for termination and origination where it can, including for my home LATA of Concord, MA.

From something I heard a long time ago, there is a longstanding dispute between GNAPS and Verizon, where Verizon is delinquent in paying some inter-carrier compensation to GNAPS and is trying to wriggle out of it by evading recipriocal charges and pressing for payment on amounts GNAPS owes Verizon (pdf of letter from Verizon here).   GNAPS has been pushing to get paid and getting out-manuevered by the Verizon lobbyists.    With recent changes in telecom policy, it sure sounds to me like Verizon has decided to play hardball by refusing to pass inbound traffic to GNAPS.  This interferes with all of GNAPS and Broadvoice consumers .   Now, not knowing the full facts of the dispute, and even the facts of the outage, I may be off base. And, I’m not a lawyer to wade through the details of all these links to make my own informed opinion.

But taking down residential customers is pretty nasty action.  And, my nose tells me that I’m not to far off the mark, and that the big guys are using their market position to intimidate the little guys.    This is where current telecom policy in this country is leading us — we’ll all be back to having multiple copper phone subscription lines in our home again, (and only one computer per DSL hookup mind you) because one by one they will find ways to shut down the competition.

Okay, flame off, thanks for reading.



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