Ofcom Creeps in on VoIP Service Providers

Leading law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP warned that with the new regulatory code for VoIP service providers, the industry would need to quickly comply whilst remaining nimble in a highly competitive market.

Last week Ofcom announced a new regulatory code designed to ensure that consumers have access to key information about the capabilities of their service.

VoIP services continue to have a rising impact on the UK communications sector. Last year, a range of new services was launched and uptake has increased significantly. Ofcom have stressed the potential for VoIP services to offer “significant new benefits to consumers, including more competition and choice, lower prices and new services such as second lines and nomadic services”.

Commenting on the new VoIP rules by Ofcom, Vanessa Barnett, a legal expert in e-commerce at Berwin Leighton Paisner, said: “Given the popularity of Voice over IP services, it was inevitable that Ofcom would introduce a level of regulation with consumer protection in mind. This will provide clarity in the market place, and businesses who are up front and comply with the regulatory requirements are bound to steal a march on their competitors.”

Ofcom also revealed that it is still keeping a watchful eye on other issues relevant to VoIP providers, including naked DSL, net neutrality and the regulation of nomadic services.

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