June 21 (Bloomberg) — Vonage Holdings Corp. and other providers of Internet-based telephone service must help subsidize services in rural and low-income areas, U.S. regulators said.
A rule adopted today by the Federal Communications Commission requires providers of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, service to contribute 10.5 percent of their long-distance revenue to the Universal Service Fund if the calls pass through traditional phone networks. Mobile-phone companies such as Cingular Wireless LLC may have to pay more as well.
“We take these actions because we recognize the changing telecommunications marketplace,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said during a meeting today. The rule is an interim measure that will help maintain the stability of the fund while the commission works to create a long-term, “technology-neutral” contribution system, Martin told reporters after the meeting. […]