Internet phones in America must be accessible

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Monday, 2 July 2007

As VoIP services have gone mainstream, the United States FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has increasingly regulated them like traditional phone service, and the Commission recently took this policy one step further by requiring VoIP operators and equipment manufacturers to support disability access requirements like the 711 dialing service.

The ruling is the result of a process begun back in March of 2004, when the FCC looked at the matter of disability access requirements as they applied to IP-enabled services. The Commission's ruling now means that VoIP operators like Vonage and equipment manufacturers like Linksys need to make sure that their gear, their services, and even their documentation are accessible to the disabled, so long as the necessary fixes are "readily achievable."

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