Vaishnav On VoIP

Chintan VaishnavEngineer Chintan Vaishnav of the Communciation Futures programme at MIT spoke about “The End Of Core” (and a lot more besides) in the same session as my own presentation. I said in my own introduction that I was looking forward to Chintan’s presentation more than my own, and it was quite a presentation, as it turned out. His own focus is on regulation of VoIP (voice over internet protocol) but includes a complicated model (system dynamics) and a strong interest in the interactions between the regulator, the developers, the users and the various players.

 
Although I found some of the wonderful diagrams a little difficult to follow, it was clear to me that this is important work, and with similar sensibilities to my own (but starting from a different place, of course). The specific examples given included the regulatory desire to provide for things like 911 and wiretaps, and how this has an impact on different classes of VoIP (e.g. interconnection PC-to-phone vs ‘pure’ PC to PC). Really relevant issues and also highlighting some general principles about regulation and regulators.

The slides/diagrams are well worth seeing, and I’ll add the link when he publishes them!

My favourite term was ‘circum-innovation’, or the role of technology in evading/sidestepping regulation; I wondered whether looking at regulatory arbitrage / regulatory flight might throw up some interesting results.

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