Ofcom has published a substantial consultation on its approach to regulating “New Voice Services” - provision of voice services over IP.
Two key issues spring out of the paper:
- Ofcom is ending its “regulatory forebearance” with regard to VoIP operators who are “PATS”. This will be effective from the date of the statement following the consultation, which is expected in August 2006.
- Ofcom has now withdrawn the “Essential Requirements Guidelines” for satisfying the requirement to assure network integrity under General Condition 3, as previously flagged. This is effective immediately (paragraph 4.14). In future satisfaction of this Condition will be considered on a case-by-case basis.