FCC Recruits VoIP Guru

by Phone.com

In what is being widely seen as a major coup for the VoIP industry, the FCC has named the co-author of two key VoIP technologies as its new Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Word on the street is that this augers well for the entire industry.

The new CTO is Henning Schulzrinne, who most recently has been the Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science and Professor of Engineering at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering at Columbia University. He has also been an Engineering Fellow at the FCC since 2010. In his new job, he will be based in the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

I doubt that very many users of VoIP phone service from Phone.com, or any other VoIP company for that matter, have ever heard of Schulzrinne. In short, he was a co-author of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). Those are the two main standards used in almost all VoIP service today. If you’re a Phone.com customer who doesn’t know what those are, don’t worry. You don’t have to – that’s the job of your phone company. Of course if you want to learn, just look the technologies up on the Internet, and you’ll find more detail than you ever wanted.

The scope of Schulzrinne’s job extends far beyond just VoIP, indeed to all technology and engineering issues facing the FCC. But the fact that the man in the FCC’s CTO slot is a VoIP pioneer is almost an iron-clad insurance policy that VoIP users today won’t be shortchanged by FCC technical experts who are mired in the old phone technologies of the past.

For users of services such as Phone.com’s Enterprise service, Home Office, Virtual Office and other offerings, that’s great news. It means that what’s already a great service can only get better.