ISPs may not carry int’l calls over VoIP

VoIP is taking revenue away from international calls carriers and is pushing down prices.

The Ministry of Communications has instructed Internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure that their systems do not carry international calls over VoIP, which bypass Israel’s authorized international calls carriers. The ministry sent the instruction following complaints.

Ministry of Communications director general Avi Balashnikov said this activity seriously harmed licensed international calls carriers. Most ISPs informed the Ministry of Communications that they met the terms of their licenses, and, to the best of their knowledge, their systems were not used for this purpose.

Making international calls via the Internet is easy. Even without intervention by an ISP, anyone can make an international call for free, using freely available software, such as Skype. VoIP is taking revenue away from international calls carriers and is pushing down prices. Fighting VoIP calls is a lost cause, however, and it is only a matter of time before it will be impossible to charge for international calls as a separate product.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on November 29, 2005

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