A Minnesota agency may not regulate calls through cyberspace as it does calls through traditional phone lines, a federal appeals court ruled. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission had argued that VOIP companies were providing phone-like service and therefore should be regulated in the same manner as traditional phone companies. VOIP providers said they offered an information service rather than a telecommunications service.
The order by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upholds a lower-court ruling and is a win for fledgling companies such as Vonage Holdings Corp., which provides VOIP services.
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