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UC Week In Review: Court Dents FCC'S Net Neutrality Cause

April 09, 2010

It was a busy week in the courts for communications technology.

First, federal appeals court handed a blow to the FCC this week when it ruled that the Commission overstepped its bounds by censuring Comcast. The ruling could impact the FCC's National Broadband Plan.

On Tuesday a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC's August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers but which had voluntarily discontinued the practice earlier in the year.

Net Neutrality advocates expressed concern over the watershed ruling handed down Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

When reached by unified communications, Google officials referred to a statement from Markham Erickson, executive director of the Open Internet Coalition - a group to which the Internet search leader belongs.

'Today's D.C. Circuit decision in Comcast creates a dangerous situation, one where the health and openness of the Internet is being held hostage by the behavior of the major telco and cable providers,' Erickson said. 'The Court has taken an aggressive position, rejecting the FCC's legal authority to implement broadband Internet policy under Title I of the Communications Act.  The legal challenge to Title I authority by Comcast has created an outcome where the FCC has no option but to immediately open a proceeding to clarify its authority over broadband network providers under Title II.'

Then on Wednesday the American Society of Media Photographers filed a lawsuit against Google concerning the search engine's plans to create a digital library.

The lawsuit asserting that Google's efforts to digitize millions of books from libraries is a large-scale infringement of their copyrights, The New York Times reported.

On the economic front, new analysis from Frost & Sullivan has revealed that the world unified communications markets are set for growth as technologies mature and businesses acknowledge the value of integrating disparate communications and collaboration technologies. The analysis named WorldUnified Communications Markets has revealed that the installed base of fully-integrated UC users will touch 50 million by 2015.

At present, UC is being offered in two distinct business models, all-in-one suites and best-of-breed integrations. Free UC clients, attractive bundling and low-cost or no-cost pilot programs will help users experience UC and its benefits. This is expected to help end users to specifically require UC capabilities and make informed decisions about what to deploy, how and from which vendors by the time they are ready to rebuild their infrastructure.

Polycom, Inc., a company focused on telepresence, video, and voice solutions, has expanded its relationship with Microsoft Corp. to jointly develop and deliver an extended portfolio of unified communications (UC) solutions that will enable more effective collaboration for its customers.

Officials with Polycom said that the company offers a portfolio of integrated solutions spanning voice, video, and application integration for Microsoft Office Communications Server R2 and Microsoft Communications Server '14,' Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft Active Directory

And finally, Apptix recently announced the launch of Apptix Hosted Exchange for Apple a new hosted offering that provides native integration of Apple-based communications applications withMicrosoft Exchange Server 2007.  

The service provides full business-class Exchange support for all Macintosh computers running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system software (or better).  ActiveSync mobile service is also included with each Exchange mailbox for use the Apple iPad as well as any Apple iPhone or Apple iPod Touch (with Wi-Fi access) mobile digital devices.

Alice Straight is a unified communications editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight

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