Vonage Holdings and other providers of “nomadic” voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) services were handed a key legal victory, as the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an FCC order in which the agency said it would preempt state regulation of IP-enabled services “that have basic characteristics similar to” Vonage’s VoIP service. The court’s decision deals a blow to various state regulatory agencies—including the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC)—that had hoped to overturn the FCC’s ruling on grounds that VoIP operates as a telephone service that, traditionally, has been subject to state regulation. Both the FCC’s order and the case at hand stem from attempts by the MPUC to register Vonage as a state regulated telephone carrier. At the request of Vonage, the FCC intervened, declaring in 2004 that IP-enabled VoIP services fall under federal jurisdiction because it is impossible to separate the interstate and intrastate components of IP-enabled calls. In an opinion handed down on Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit court agreed with the FCC’s findings, observing that VoIP enables customers to place “home” calls from any location, thus rendering state boundaries as moot. The court, however, deferred the New York Public Service Commission’s (NYPSC’s) request for a ruling that fixed Internet phone services offered by cable companies are subject to state regulation. Although the NYPSC argued that the FCC could not justify preemption of fixed services “because the geographic locations of users placing calls over fixed VoIP . . . can be readily identified,” the court described that issue as not “ripe for review” as the FCC had not yet acted to preempt any state ruling on fixed VoIP service.