The Pulver Order: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of VoIP Deregulation at the National Press Club, February 12, 2024

The 20th anniversary of the Pulver Order will be celebrated at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Monday, February 12, 2024. Established by the FCC in 2004, this seminal order marked a shift in the evolution of digital communication, catalyzing the growth of VoIP services as the order established it as an unregulated information service, subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction. In so doing, the FCC removed any regulatory uncertainty surrounding Internet applications.

The National Press Club will gather to recognize the 20th Anniversary of The Pulver Order. Join retired FCC Chairman Michael Powell and Vonage founder Jeff Pulver, alongside industry leaders to celebrate 20 years of the act that made VoIP an unregulated service.

The event will feature a panel discussion with those regarded as critical to this decision, including:

  • Jeff Pulver, the visionary founder of VON and Vonage, whose foresight and advocacy were instrumental in creating the Pulver Order.
  • Michael Powell, FCC Chairman 2001-2005, whose leadership and support were pivotal in realizing the Pulver Order. Powell, now the President and CEO of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, continues to be a voice in federal digital and telecommunications policymaking.
  • Attorney Glenn Richards, a legal luminary from Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, whose expertise in telecommunications law helped navigate the complexities of this groundbreaking regulation.

With the Pulver Order, The FCC recognized and embraced the burgeoning potential of internet-based communication technologies. This strategic decision to exempt VoIP from the constraints of traditional telecommunications regulations was more than just an act of deregulation; it was a visionary move that spurred remarkable innovation.

By adopting this policy, the FCC effectively shielded internet applications from undue economic regulation at both federal and state levels, fostering an environment conducive to technological advancement. Moreover, the Pulver Order established regulatory stability within the marketplace. This stability was instrumental in eliminating investment and deployment barriers and accelerating the growth and diversification of Internet applications and services. This catalyzed a transformation in global communication practices and set a precedent for future technological developments in the digital era.