Total Pageviews

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Skype to be regulated as a telco in France?

Screen grab: Pressure on big internet groups - "The move against Skype was portrayed by the authorities as being principally about making the company meet the same service commitments as traditional telecoms operators, such as carrying emergency calls and allowing security service surveillance when legally authorised. But it opened up the critical issue cited by telecoms operators that so-called “over the top” companies, which provide services such as Skype and Google Talk, are competing directly with their own without paying a fair price for the networks they use. Now that a new generation of broadband infrastructure needs to be developed to manage the increasing data traffic, telecoms groups want to share the burden of the fresh investment with the cash-rich internet companies." 'via Blog this'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The entire Internet is buzzing about the "new-found" status of Skype as communications service provider. However, most commentators are missing an important legal point. At least two Skype services fall within the definition of "electronic communication services" under the EC Framework. This is why ARCEP or any other European regulator in that matter is correct to classify these services as "electronic communication services" under there national law.
In principle any VoIP service (managed or unmanaged over-the-top service) which provides outgoing calls to telephone numbers is "electronic communication services" under the EC Framework. The same is true for services providing the possibility of receiving calls from public telephone networks (via DID numbers). In fact this is the common position of the European regulators since 2007 (See the VoIP common position of ERG, 2007).
Both Skype-Out and Skype-In are services which fall within the definition of "electronic communication services" under the EC Framework. The legal definition of "electronic communications services" remained unchanged since its introduction in the Framework Directive 2002 therefore these Skype services have long been.
Furthermore, under the revised definition of "public available telephone service", the combination of Skype-In and Skype-Out as one service falls in this category as well:
"publicly available telephone service" means a service made available to the public for originating and receiving, directly or indirectly, national or national and international calls through a number or numbers in a national or international telephone numbering plan. This categorization means that Skype must offer number portability (Article 30 of the Universal Service Directive). Obviously ARCEP did not consider this possibility which can have even bigger consequences.
In my view the correct question is not "Skype to be regulated as a telco in France?" but rather "Why wait for so long and allow these services to exist with little or no regulatory oversight?".
Telco Lawyer