VG » Topics » Regulation of VoIP services is developing and therefore uncertain, and future legislative, regulatory or judicial actions could adversely impact our business and expose us to liability.

These excerpts taken from the VG 10-K filed Mar 3, 2009.

Regulation of VoIP services is developing and therefore uncertain, and future legislative, regulatory or judicial actions could adversely affect our business and expose us to liability.

Our business has developed in an environment largely free from government regulation. However, the United States and other countries have begun to assert regulatory authority over VoIP and are continuing to evaluate how VoIP will be regulated in the future. Both the application of existing rules to us and our competitors and the effects of future regulatory developments are uncertain.

Future legislative, judicial or other regulatory actions could have a negative effect on our business. If we become subject to the rules and regulations applicable to telecommunications providers in individual states, we may incur significant litigation and compliance costs, and we may have to restructure our service offerings, exit certain markets or raise the price of our services, any of which could cause our services to be less attractive to customers. In addition, future regulatory developments could increase our cost of doing business and limit our growth.

Our international operations are also subject to regulatory risks, including the risk that regulations in some jurisdictions will prohibit us from providing our services cost-effectively or at all, which could limit our growth. Currently, there are several countries where regulations prohibit us from offering service. In addition, because customers can use our services almost anywhere that a broadband Internet connection is available, including countries where providing VoIP services is illegal, the governments of those countries may attempt to assert jurisdiction over us, which could expose us to significant liability and regulation.

We identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting which was remediated as of December 31, 2007 and may identify additional material weaknesses in the future that may cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations or result in material misstatements of our financial statements.

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is

 

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a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

Our management, after discussions with our audit committee and our independent registered public accounting firm, BDO Seidman LLP, determined that it was necessary to restate our consolidated financial statements for the quarters ended June 30, 2007 and September 30, 2007 in order to correct the amount of stock-based compensation expense recorded by us for those periods. In light of the restatement, we believe that a material weakness existed in the design of our internal control procedures relating to recording stock-based compensation expense, which was remediated as of December 31, 2007.

If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal controls, we may not be able to conclude in the future that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Moreover, effective internal controls are necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and are important to help prevent fraud. As a result, our failure to maintain effective internal controls could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which in turn could harm the market value of our common stock. Any failure to maintain effective internal controls also could impair our ability to manage our business and harm our financial results.

Regulation of VoIP services is developing and therefore uncertain, and future legislative, regulatory or judicial actions could
adversely affect our business and expose us to liability.

Our business has developed in an environment largely free from
government regulation. However, the United States and other countries have begun to assert regulatory authority over VoIP and are continuing to evaluate how VoIP will be regulated in the future. Both the application of existing rules to us and our
competitors and the effects of future regulatory developments are uncertain.

Future legislative, judicial or other regulatory actions
could have a negative effect on our business. If we become subject to the rules and regulations applicable to telecommunications providers in individual states, we may incur significant litigation and compliance costs, and we may have to restructure
our service offerings, exit certain markets or raise the price of our services, any of which could cause our services to be less attractive to customers. In addition, future regulatory developments could increase our cost of doing business and limit
our growth.

Our international operations are also subject to regulatory risks, including the risk that regulations in some
jurisdictions will prohibit us from providing our services cost-effectively or at all, which could limit our growth. Currently, there are several countries where regulations prohibit us from offering service. In addition, because customers can use
our services almost anywhere that a broadband Internet connection is available, including countries where providing VoIP services is illegal, the governments of those countries may attempt to assert jurisdiction over us, which could expose us to
significant liability and regulation.

We identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting which was remediated
as of December 31, 2007 and may identify additional material weaknesses in the future that may cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations or result in material misstatements of our financial statements.

STYLE="margin-top:6px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:3%" ALIGN="justify">Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Internal control over financial
reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. A material
weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is

 



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a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

Our management, after discussions with our audit committee and our independent registered public accounting firm, BDO Seidman LLP,
determined that it was necessary to restate our consolidated financial statements for the quarters ended June 30, 2007 and September 30, 2007 in order to correct the amount of stock-based compensation expense recorded by us for those
periods. In light of the restatement, we believe that a material weakness existed in the design of our internal control procedures relating to recording stock-based compensation expense, which was remediated as of December 31, 2007.


If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal controls, we may not be able to conclude in the future that we have effective internal
control over financial reporting in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Moreover, effective internal controls are necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and are important to help prevent fraud. As a result, our failure to
maintain effective internal controls could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which in turn could harm the market value of our common stock. Any failure to maintain effective internal controls
also could impair our ability to manage our business and harm our financial results.

This excerpt taken from the VG 10-K filed Mar 17, 2008.

Regulation of VoIP services is developing and therefore uncertain, and future legislative, regulatory or judicial actions could adversely affect our business and expose us to liability.

Our business has developed in an environment largely free from government regulation. However, the United States and other countries have begun to assert regulatory authority over VoIP and are continuing to evaluate how VoIP will be regulated in the future. Both the application of existing rules to us and our competitors and the effects of future regulatory developments are uncertain.

 

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PART I

 

Future legislative, judicial or other regulatory actions could have a negative effect on our business. If we become subject to the rules and regulations applicable to telecommunications providers in individual states, we may incur significant litigation and compliance costs, and we may have to restructure our service offerings, exit certain markets or raise the price of our services, any of which could cause our services to be less attractive to customers. In addition, future regulatory developments could increase our cost of doing business and limit our growth.

Our international operations are also subject to regulatory risks, including the risk that regulations in some jurisdictions will prohibit us from providing our services cost-effectively or at all, which could limit our growth. Currently, there are several countries where regulations prohibit us from offering service. In addition, because customers can use our services almost anywhere that a broadband Internet connection is available, including countries where providing VoIP services is illegal, the governments of those countries may attempt to assert jurisdiction over us, which could expose us to significant liability and regulation.

This excerpt taken from the VG 10-Q filed Nov 8, 2006.

Regulation of VoIP services is developing and therefore uncertain, and future legislative, regulatory or judicial actions could adversely impact our business and expose us to liability.

Our business has developed in an environment largely free from government regulation. However, the United States and other countries have begun to assert regulatory authority over VoIP and are continuing to evaluate how VoIP will be regulated in the future. Both the application of existing rules to us and our competitors and the effects of future regulatory developments are uncertain.

Future legislative, judicial or other regulatory actions could have a negative effect on our business. If we become subject to the rules and regulations applicable to telecommunications providers in individual states, we may incur significant litigation and compliance costs, and we may have to restructure our service offerings, exit certain markets or raise the price of our services, any of which could cause our services to be less attractive to customers. In addition, future regulatory developments could increase our cost of doing business and limit our growth.

Our international operations are also subject to regulatory risks, including the risk that regulations in some jurisdictions will prohibit us from providing our services cost-effectively or at all, which could limit our growth. Currently, there are several countries where regulations prohibit us from offering service. In addition, because customers can use our services almost anywhere that a broadband Internet connection is available, including countries where providing VoIP services is illegal, the governments of those countries may attempt to assert jurisdiction over us, which could expose us to significant liability and regulation.

The success of our business relies on customers’ continued and unimpeded access to broadband service. Providers of broadband services may be able to block our services or charge their customers more for also using our services, which could adversely affect our revenue and growth.

Our customers must have broadband access to the Internet in order to use our service. Some providers of broadband access may take measures that affect their customers’ ability to use our service, such as degrading the quality of the data packets we transmit over their lines, giving those packets low priority, giving other packets higher priority than ours, blocking our packets entirely or attempting to charge their customers more for also using our services.

It is not clear whether suppliers of broadband Internet access have a legal obligation to allow their customers to access and use our service without interference. As a result of recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the FCC, providers of broadband services are subject to relatively light regulation by the FCC. Consequently, federal and state regulators might not prohibit broadband providers from limiting their customers’ access to VoIP or otherwise discriminating against VoIP providers.

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Interference with our service or higher charges for also using our service could cause us to lose existing customers, impair our ability to attract new customers and harm our revenue and growth.

These problems could also arise in international markets. For example, a Canadian cable provider recently began offering an optional Cdn$10 per month “quality of service premium” to customers who use third-party VoIP services over its facilities. However, customers who purchase VoIP services directly from this cable provider are not required to pay this additional fee.

If we fail to comply with new FCC regulations requiring us to provide E-911 emergency calling services, we may be subject to fines or penalties, which could include disconnection of our service for certain customers or prohibitions on marketing of our services and accepting new customers in certain areas.

The FCC released an order on June 3, 2005 requiring us to notify our customers of any differences between our emergency calling services and those available through traditional telephone providers and obtain affirmative acknowledgments from our customers of those notifications. The rules also required us to offer by November 28, 2005 enhanced emergency calling services, or E-911, to all of our customers located in areas where E-911 service is available from their traditional wireline telephone company. E-911 service allows emergency calls from our customers to be routed directly to an emergency dispatcher in a customer’s registered location and gives the dispatcher automatic access to the customer’s telephone number and registered location information.

We have notified our customers of the differences between our emergency calling services and those available through traditional telephony providers and have received affirmative acknowledgement from substantially all of our customers. We also have taken steps to comply with the FCC’s order by the November 28, 2005 deadline, but we are not currently in full compliance and do not expect to be in full compliance in the short term unless we are granted a waiver of the requirements by the FCC. As of September 30, 2006, we were not providing E-911 service to approximately 10% of our U.S. subscriber lines.

The consequences of failure to comply fully with the FCC’s order currently are unclear. On November 7, 2005, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a public notice stating that it would not require disconnection of existing customers to whom E-911 service cannot be provided by November 28, 2005, but it also stated that it expected VoIP providers to stop marketing and accepting new subscribers in areas where they cannot provide E-911 service after November 28, 2005. It is not clear whether the FCC will enforce this restriction or how it would do so. On November 28, 2005, we filed a petition for extension of time and limited waiver of certain of the enhanced emergency service requirements, including the limitations on marketing and accepting new customers. We are continuing to market our services and accept new customers in areas in which we do not provide E-911 service. The FCC has not acted on our petition, and we cannot predict whether the FCC will grant our petition or provide other relief. Should we be unable to obtain an extension of time to implement the requirements of the order, we may be subject to enforcement action by the FCC that could include monetary forfeitures, cease and desist orders and other penalties. We also may be required to stop serving customers to whom we cannot provide the E-911 service required by the FCC’s rules and to stop marketing our services and accepting new customers in areas in which we cannot provide the E-911 service. Any of these actions could significantly harm our business.

This excerpt taken from the VG 10-Q filed Aug 4, 2006.

Regulation of VoIP services is developing and therefore uncertain, and future legislative, regulatory or judicial actions could adversely impact our business and expose us to liability.

Our business has developed in an environment largely free from government regulation. However, the United States and other countries have begun to assert regulatory authority over VoIP and are continuing to evaluate how VoIP will be regulated in the future. Both the application of existing rules to us and our competitors and the effects of future regulatory developments are uncertain.

Future legislative, judicial or other regulatory actions could have a negative effect on our business. If we become subject to the rules and regulations applicable to telecommunications providers in individual states, we may incur significant litigation and compliance costs, and we may have to restructure our service offerings, exit certain markets or raise the price of our services, any of which could cause our services to be less attractive to customers. In addition, future regulatory developments could increase our cost of doing business and limit our growth.

Our international operations are also subject to regulatory risks, including the risk that regulations in some jurisdictions will prohibit us from providing our services cost-effectively or at all, which could limit our growth. Currently, there are several countries where regulations prohibit us from offering service. In addition, because customers can use our services almost anywhere that a broadband Internet connection is available, including countries where providing VoIP services is illegal, the governments of those countries may attempt to assert jurisdiction over us, which could expose us to significant liability and regulation.

The success of our business relies on customers’ continued and unimpeded access to broadband service. Providers of broadband services may be able to block our services or charge their customers more for also using our services, which could adversely affect our revenue and growth.

Our customers must have broadband access to the Internet in order to use our service. Some providers of broadband access may take measures that affect their customers’ ability to use our service, such as degrading the quality of the data packets we transmit over their lines, giving those packets low priority, giving other packets higher priority than ours, blocking our packets entirely or attempting to charge their customers more for also using our services.

It is not clear whether suppliers of broadband Internet access have a legal obligation to allow their customers to access and use our service without interference. As a result of recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the FCC, providers of broadband services are subject to relatively light regulation by the FCC. Consequently, federal and state regulators might not prohibit broadband providers from limiting their customers’ access to VoIP or otherwise discriminating against VoIP providers. Interference with our service or higher charges for also using our service could cause us to lose existing customers, impair our ability to attract new customers and harm our revenue and growth.

These problems could also arise in international markets. For example, a Canadian cable provider recently began offering an optional Cdn$10 per month “quality of service premium” to customers who use third-party VoIP services over its facilities. However, customers who purchase VoIP services directly from this cable provider are not required to pay this additional fee.

If we fail to comply with new FCC regulations requiring us to provide E-911 emergency calling services, we may be subject to fines or penalties, which could include disconnection of our service for certain customers or prohibitions on marketing of our services and accepting new customers in certain areas.

The FCC released an order on June 3, 2005 requiring us to notify our customers of any differences between our emergency calling services and those available through traditional telephone providers and obtain affirmative acknowledgments from our customers of those notifications. The rules also required us to offer by November 28, 2005 enhanced emergency calling services, or E-911, to all of our customers located in areas where E-911 service is available from their traditional wireline telephone company. E-911 service allows emergency calls from our customers to be routed directly to an emergency dispatcher in a customer’s registered location and gives the dispatcher automatic access to the customer’s telephone number and registered location information.

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We have notified our customers of the differences between our emergency calling services and those available through traditional telephony providers and have received affirmative acknowledgement from substantially all of our customers. We also have taken steps to comply with the FCC’s order by the November 28, 2005 deadline, but we are not currently in full compliance and do not expect to be in full compliance in the short term unless we are granted a waiver of the requirements by the FCC. As of July 31, 2006, we were not providing E-911 service to approximately 17% of our U.S. subscriber lines.

The consequences of failure to comply fully with the FCC’s order currently are unclear. On November 7, 2005, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a public notice stating that it would not require disconnection of existing customers to whom E-911 service cannot be provided by November 28, 2005, but it also stated that it expected VoIP providers to stop marketing and accepting new subscribers in areas where they cannot provide E-911 service after November 28, 2005. It is not clear whether the FCC will enforce this restriction or how it would do so. On November 28, 2005, we filed a petition for extension of time and limited waiver of certain of the enhanced emergency service requirements, including the limitations on marketing and accepting new customers. We are continuing to market our services and accept new customers in areas in which we do not provide E-911 service. The FCC has not acted on our petition, and we cannot predict whether the FCC will grant our petition or provide other relief. Should we be unable to obtain an extension of time to implement the requirements of the order, we may be subject to enforcement action by the FCC that could include monetary forfeitures, cease and desist orders and other penalties. We also may be required to stop serving customers to whom we cannot provide the E-911 service required by the FCC’s rules and to stop marketing our services and accepting new customers in areas in which we cannot provide the E-911 service. Any of these actions could significantly harm our business.

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