Ofcom to Examine VoIP Regulation

The UK communications regulator Ofcom has announced another consultation on VoIP use in the UK as a follow up to their last, which they called New Voice Services: A consultation and interim guidance, and released on 6 September 2004.
Ofcom estimate is that there is around 500,000 VoIP users in the UK.

The regulator has published proposals for a new approach, including a code to ensure service providers give their customers information about service capability. It will outline how Ofcom will investigate breaches of providers’ obligations on network reliability and emergency calls, and will increase the incentive for VoIP services to offer 999 access.

Ofcom is promising a “planned approach” to reviewing the regulations to take into account future market and technology development. Consultation on the proposals closes on 3 May 2006, with a statement of the results expected in August.
Peter Gradwell, MD of Gradwell dot com welcomed the publication of the latest Ofcom

consultation on VoIP services. “This new consultation shows that OFCOM is enhancing its approach to VoIP. Ofcom is now keen to help insure VoIP users can be confident about the security of the service they use, while having good, speedy access to 999 numbers.”

”In addition, Ofcom’s new approach to VoIP ensures that innovators such as Gradwell will have enough flexibility to drive progress forward – with benefits all round, unhampered by red tape. Additionally, we are very pleased to read and hear about Ofcom’s strong emphasis in number portability.”

Gradwell says that at present it is very difficult to transfer numbers from incumbent operators.

“This clear statement today – that operators should, in Ofcom’s own words: ‘provide number portability as soon as it is reasonably practicable on reasonable terms’ – is very welcome indeed.”