9th November 2007

ITSPA applauds ERG position on VoIP

ITSPA has announced its general support for the European Regulators Group draft position paper on Voice over IP. ITSPA advocates a number of the conclusions set out in the position paper including:

• All telephony service providers which break out onto the PSTN should be obliged to provide access to emergency services.

• The provision of access to the emergency services should be removed from the definition of PATS in the Universal Service Directive.

• Information about the caller’s location should be provided to the extent allowed by the technology.

• There should be an obligation to port numbers to any service provider which satisfies the conditions of use of the appropriate number ranges.

The ITSPA chairman Eli Katz said: “Most of the ERG’s recommendations correspond with ITSPA’s own positions over the last two years. We welcome most of the proposals and hope that the national regulators take this on board to help VoIP services develop across Europe”.

ITSPA’s support comes after the trade association held a regulatory workshop for its members at Ofcom on 7th November. This was an extremely useful afternoon where the recent changes to the regulatory framework were spelled out, key areas were discussed and representatives of Ofcom were able to respond to the questions raised by the membership.

Eli Katz added: “Our workshop indicates the progress ITSPA has made over the past twelve months in its relationship with the UK regulator. While we don’t necessarily meet eye-to-eye on all matters, there are now useful channels available where we as an industry body can raise the issues of concern and discuss them effectively with Ofcom as well as the relevant Government departments”.

ITSPA now feels it can genuinely claim to represent a large percentage of the VoIP market when outlining its position with the regulator and Government departments. This is reflected within the membership list of over 60 members including BT, Google, Orange Home, AOL Talk, Tesco and Vonage. Together with the smaller start-up ITSPs and the large equipment suppliers including Cisco and Siemens as associate members, there is a genuine representation amongst all industry players.

The full press release is here

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