Regulator to step in over VoIP concerns

7 Jul 2014

Jamaica’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is to meet with mobile operators Digicel and LIME as well as consumer groups to discuss the cellcos’ recent blocking of unlicensed voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services such as Viber and Skype. The two firms blocked access to the over-the-top (OTT) VoIP services, saying they were unauthorised and that they were having a negative impact on network quality. The regulator is keen to work out a solution which will see the OTT offerings reinstated, the Jamaica Observer writes.

Meanwhile, opposition ICT spokesperson Andrew Wheatley has expressed concern at the cellcos’ move, saying it will impact business on the island: ‘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.’ He went on to comment: ‘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. In its current form, the legislation allows telecoms providers to take advantage of existing gaps, so this needs to be corrected.’