What Net Neutrality means for VoIP

Anyone wondering what the concept of net neutrality means for VoIP
will be intrigued by MetroPCS’s discounted 4G LTE mobile broadband plans.

They are an example of wireless Internet Service Providers charging consumers different rates for content depending on who produces it.

A $40 a month tier includes unlimited talk, text and 4G Web browsing with unlimited YouTube access.

For $50 per month you also get VoIP, international text messaging, turn-by-turn navigation, corporate e-mail, mobile instant messaging and 1 GB of additional data access.

At $60 per month, users get unlimited data access and MetroSTUDIO premium content such as 18 video-on-demand channels and audio downloads.

Basically that means you will not get broad unlimited internet access to things like VoIPSkype unless you can afford the top two tiers. And while you can access Youtube videos, other video services may be inaccessible.

This may contravene the new FCC net neutrality guidelines, according to Gigaom, and the organisation will be looking into MetroPCS’s pricing tiers.

Spokesperson Drew Crowell said: "MetroPCS is not prepared to discuss the net neutrality implications of our latest service plans."

“We saw that YouTube is one of the main ways that our customers get multimedia content and we wanted to make sure that content was available to them.

He added: "The $50 and $60 plans are about choice and providing options to meet the needs of our consumers.”

If MetroPCS is granted its way it could have a big impact on the future of mobile broadband and VoIP.

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