Internet phone services get UK regulation

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Cheap or free calls via the net – that’s just about all the detail VoIP providers have found necessary to give to prospective customers. But that looks about to change, with UK telecoms regulator Ofcom demanding upfront details of service limitations.

All limitations must be clearly published. This will include whether a service has access to emergency services, if directory listings are available, if a service will go “dead” during a power cut, if operator access is available and if the customer is able to receive itemised bills.

An Ofcom spokesman said: “As usage in the UK continues to grow, and the market develops further, Ofcom will continue to review and develop its approach to regulation to ensure that consumers gain the full benefits of VoIP services.”

Ofcom plans to consult later this year on whether net phone services should be forced to provide access to emergency services. That follows an earlier consultation which raised concerns over a lack of access to emergency services via VoIP services.

Ofcom website

Via BBC

Dave Walker