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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Voip Regulation

I getting worried, extremely worried about OFCOM. After the ridiculous regulation on Junk Food and the inquiry into the BSkyB acquisition of a minority in ITV, we now have what at first glance appears to be a leak to the Times about forthcoming OFCOM regulation on the nascent VOIP market.

“Regulator feels it is time for action”

I think we need something more tangible than a feeling before regulation is implemented. OFCOM needs to have some hard core evidence of wrongdoing or confusion in the marketplace causing damage to the economy.

“Service not working when the buyer’s computer is turned off”

This is ridiculous and treats the early adopters of VOIP technology like imbeciles. Does OFCOM tell the mobile phones companies to advise that you need to turn your cellular on to make and receive calls?

“The phone line going dead in power cuts”

Whilst a computer needs power to operate – what happens if someone is using a laptop? what happens if someone has a UPS? This is strictly speaking not true and again if we draw comparisions with the mobile world – Does OFCOM tell users that you need to charge your battery to keep the services working? Does OFCOM tell fixed-line DECT handset users that your need to keep your fixed line phone charged? This is another recent example of OFCOM treating Joe Public like a moron.

“Inability to call 999”

This is true, but the way round this is to have a quiet word with the VOIP providers and also I’m sure if this is publicised some non-moronic entrepreneur which this country is full of will just develop a 999 gateway for VOIP calls.

We now have a situation whereby a regulator who was famous for a light touch and leaving market forces to weave its wonderful web is now going to be famous to be the most heavily regulated VOIP market in the world.

If true these rumours are an absolute national disgrace. Someone needs to do something before people start recommended the abolition of OFCOM and the transferring of power to regulation-lite Brussels.