Does the Ooma Outage Portend of New FCC Rules?

Interconnected VoIP provider Ooma suffered a three-hour outage late last week. Ooma identified the cause of the outage as an extremely rare power failure at a portion of our data center,” but the effect of the outage may have a much broader impact. The outage comes only two weeks after VoIP providers opposed extension of the FCC’s outage reporting rules to them. Timing, as they say, is everything. In this case, the timing of the outage appears to be unfortunate.

The Ooma outage may assure FCC staff that they are on the right track in requiring reporting of such outages in the future. Just last week, the Public Safety Bureau announced it was holding a Workshop/Webinar” on the extension of the reporting requirements to VoIP and broadband providers. The portion of the workshop devoted to outage reporting is described as examining how public safety agencies and critical infrastructure industries rely on communications and how outages of interconnected VoIP and broadband Internet service providers could affect their vital work.” It looks like the FCC needs no convincing of the wisdom of requiring new outage reporting by VoIP providers.