Ofcom publishes new proposals on its approach to VOIP services

February 22, 2006

1 Min Read

LONDON -- Ofcom today published new proposals on its approach to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. VoIP services deliver telephone calls over broadband connections rather than traditional telephone networks.

These new services offer consumers the prospect of benefits including lower calls prices (especially for calls from one VoIP service to another), and other sophisticated services such as call handling and unified messaging.

Since Ofcom published its interim guidance on VoIP services in 2004, these services have developed significantly in terms of the choice of providers, the services offered and the equipment that customers use.

Awareness of these new services continues to increase, particularly among broadband customers, and industry estimates suggest that there are now more than 500,000 active VoIP users in the UK. Take-up growth is forecast to continue and as more people start to use VoIP services, Ofcom is required to ensure that regulatory requirements are continually adapted to meet the needs of both customers and providers.

Ofcom is proposing a code for VoIP service providers to ensure customers are given important information about service capability. Ofcom is also updating its guidance to encourage VoIP providers to offer access to 999 emergency services and to help them comply with existing regulation of voice services, including requirements for Publicly Available Telephone Services (PATS).


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