Sat, Aug. 21, 2004

Regulator Stalls VoIP

CK - Washington.   As if life were not complicated enough, the German FCC-equivalent, RegTP, decided to make VoIP a little more complex. Fearing the deception of customers calling VoIP consumer numbers, the RegTP decided to limit the availability of city codes and related numbers of VoIP customers to where those customers reside. The current practice of VoIP providers, such as SipGate, to offer its customers numbers in the several cities where it maintains crossover access to the traditional telephone network, would be curtailed as a result. Sipgate users, for instance, can select a Berlin area code number regardless of their physical location, and they can use that number whether they are in Pawpaw or Las Palmas. The Heyms-Bahr blog offer additional links to the regs and comments. American providers such as SipPhone may benefit from the shortsightedness of the agency because they can offer customers worldwide access to its VoIP system. By contrast, SipGate is now limited to provisioning customers who reside in cities where it maintains access points. While that number increases steadily, there are no such access points in every locale with a city code.

Disclosure: The author is a happy subscriber with the companies mentioned here, currently at SIP 1 747 555 5555.

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