In efforts to start
regulation of commercial
Voice over IP
tutorial) services in the UK, Ofcom�the
television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications
regulator for the UK, allocated area codes for providers of the hot
The new available numbers
will allow VoIP consumers to have different choices for numbers to use
when signing up. They will be able to select between keeping their
current digits, asking their provider for a new geographical
prefix�which should begin with 01 or 02, or use the �online� code of
056. This will enable identification of callers� location.
This announcement sets off a
new line of VoIP regulation efforts, which will surely begin to protect
consumers� rights and watch over the expected adoption of the technology
on a commercial level in the UK.
According to news reports,
just like in the U.S., British VoIP service providers seem to be in
disagreement with future regulation plans, which call for superbills�itemized,
overtaxed, and very similar to regular telephone service bills.
The telecom organization
unquestionably established that it is all �for� the expansion of VoIP
services adoption in Britain. Ofcom is making public a plea for service
providers to voice out their views and any plans in the works that will
benefit a smooth transition towards regulating the new service
offerings, making sure consumers get what they pay for. The entity plans
to have an open forum until November 15 of this year.
It will be interesting to see
how the providers and Ofcom participate in this brainstorming session,
and what kind of results will they get out of these baby steps towards
regulation, compared to plans in the U.S. Even more interesting would be
to know what kind of ideas they come up with in terms of E911-like
emergency plans during natural disasters, as well as power and service
|Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was
the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She
can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.