Friday, June 01, 2007


Technologies that use the Internet and Internet protocol (“IP”) networks to deliver voice communications have the potential to reduce costs, support innovation, and improve access to communications services within developing countries and around the world.

However, these new technologies pose challenges for regulators, because they do not fit neatly within the regulatory model of the recent past, which in many countries has traditionally treated voice and data services differently. Especially in end-to-end applications, the introduction of voice over IP poses issues regarding: collection of universal service funds and obligations to provide universal service; payment of access or other settlement charges among local and long distance carriers and international carriers; quality of service; and the impact on the revenue of still-existing monopolies for long distance and international voice service.

Nevertheless, there seems to be a growing recognition in national and international bodies that these issues need to be resolved in ways that permit IP technologies to be used for voice communications. On balance, removing regulatory barriers to the use of IP technologies for voice can (a) advance the goal of affordable service and (b) support the deployment of the broadband networks and services that represent the future of communications in the era of digital convergence.

No comments: