And, for the record, one of Comcast's sharpest thorns on this issue, Free Press, said it was "baffled" by the Comcast-Vonage accord, wondering why such a deal was even necessary if Vonage's services weren't being "degraded or blocked" in the first place. (See Comcast/Vonage Baffles.)
But the agreement announced today did remind me of a time when Vonage and Canada's Shaw Communications Inc. locked horns over the operator's optional $10 per month "Quality of Service Enhancement."
The idea: for a bit extra, cable modem subs could improve the quality of Internet voice services offered by over-the-top third-party providers. The issue reached full boil in early 2006, with Vonage complaining that the Shaw's "enhancement" fee, despite being elective to the subscriber, was tantamount to a "VOIP tax" that would hinder customers from signing up for Vonage's service over the cable operator's own PacketCable telephony offering.
So, was this ever resolved? I haven't been able to get a good answer yet, but I'll keep trying. But, in the meantime, it's clear that Vonage's Canadian operation is still around, and Shaw still has a live Webpage promoting its Quality of Service Enhancement for $10 per month.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News