Subtel publishes VoIP regulations

17 Jun 2008

Chile’s telecoms regulator Subtel has published regulations on VoIP, writes BNamericas citing an announcement in the government’s official gazette. The regulations recognise that though internet telephony is different from traditional telephony, it is still a public service and therefore requires a concession licence. ‘It is not in the spirit of Subtel to burden with heavy and rigid regulation a service like internet, which should not be regulated. However, in the interests of the protection of the consumers and consumer rights we found it necessary to implement minimum regulation that allows clients of public telephony based on voice-over-internet to have more or less the same rights as clients of traditional telephony,’ Subtel spokesperson Pablo Cereceda told BNamericas. The regulations allow users to make VoIP calls to and from the public telephony network, with the right to complain about poor service, receive an itemised bill, call emergency numbers – even when the service is suspended due to non-payment – and end a contract in a maximum of ten days. The rules do not apply to internet-to-internet calls nor to one-directional calls made from the internet to public telephony networks – such as Skype Out – which do not permit the public network to call the internet number back. VoIP service providers will be assigned blocks of numbers that will be assigned to a geographical area, meaning that callers can be connected to the internet outside the geographical area but calls will still be charged as if made from the area where the number is registered.