Business

JLP opposed to blocking VOIP

Monday, July 07, 2014    

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OPPOSITION spokesman on ICT Dr Andrew Wheatley has expressed concern about plans by Digicel and LIME to block voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) applications from their network.

The move, Wheatley said in a release last week, would affect applications like Skype and Viber. "This latest action by the telecoms providers is setting a dangerous precedent and could have an adverse effect on a country trying to encourage greater use of ICTs for economic development," Wheatley said.

After several concerns were raised about the telecoms companies' plans, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) announced Thursday that it would be meeting with consumer groups, LIME, and Digicel to discuss complaints.

In the meantime, Dr Wheatley said the Government needs to clearly state how it intends to create the needed framework to encourage ICT development, while permitting the actions announced by the telecoms companies.

"The Government and the OUR need to say how they view the rights of consumers who have paid for access to mobile and data networks to use applications and then see their access and use of these applications -- which have become so integral to everyday life and day-to-day communication -- being limited in this manner," he said.

"The current situation highlights the need for the Government to accelerate the drafting and tabling of the promised ICT Act, which would no doubt address issues of this nature," said Dr Wheatley. "In its current form, the legislation allows telecoms providers to take advantage of existing gaps, so this needs to be corrected."

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