CRTC tightens up VoIP regulations

12 Mar 2012

In a decision issued last Wednesday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has told voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony operators and resellers to meet regulations concerning emergency (911) call services, or face being shut down. The Globe & Mail writes that, instead of applying the regulation directly to VoIP resellers, the CRTC has mandated regulated carriers such as Bell Canada to impose strict contractual obligations on its wholesale VoIP-based clients. Under its latest decision the regulator now has the power to order a regulated telco to disconnect the service of wholesale customers or subordinate resellers that fail to comply with rules governing VoIP-based 911 services. Obligations include clearly informing consumers about any limitations of 911 services from VoIP home phones during power outages, or when using ‘nomadic’ VoIP phones, which have a fixed number but can be used on any high speed internet connection, meaning that emergency services cannot automatically identify a caller’s geographic location.