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CRTC initiates proceeding on VoIP services, issues preliminary view

In a public notice issued today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has provide...


April 7, 2004  


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In a public notice issued today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has provided its preliminary views on the regulatory framework applicable to the voice communications services using Internet Protocol and initiated a proceeding to examine the regulatory requirements for the provision of these services.

Voice communications services using IP, or Internet Protocol, now allow subscribers to make voice calls over a broadband connection, for example with a conventional phone-set attached to an adaptor or an IP telephone.

In the Commission’s preliminary view, voice communications services using IP that provide universal access to and or from the Public Switched Telephone Network and utilize telephone numbers that conform to the North American Numbering Plan (referred to in the PN as VoIP services) have characteristics that are functionally the same as circuit-switched voice telecommunications services.

The CRTC said its existing regulatory framework should apply to VoIP services.

The Commission also suggested that to the extent that VoIP services provide subscribers with access to and/or from the Public Switched Telephone Network, they should be treated for regulatory purposes as local exchange services and be subject to the regulatory framework governing local
competition.