Wednesday, December 20, 2006

REGULATION://OPTA states VoIP is a telephony service

OPTA, the Dutch telco regulator, has apparently taken note of KPN's shameful behavior regarding the InternetPlusBellen dual play.
The Radar TV show exposed how KPN milks the call center cow, when it comes to dealing with complaints over this VoIP/BB product. Of course, KPN blamed its own success of having to add 20k subs a week, when technical glitches are unavoidable. KPN at first was reluctant to lower the 45 c/min rate for the call center, but has now (temporarily) lowered it to 1 c/min.

OPTA claims the service is a telephony product, and therefore should be subject to telco law, demanding that any conflicts should be submitted to the Arbitration Board ('Geschillencommissie') for Telecommunication. KPN has explicitly locked out this option in the InternetPlusBellen terms. OPTA requires KPN to alter these terms by January 5.

I am not sure why KPN has declined to be subject to the Arbitration Board for this product, but it seems to mirror US regulations, where 'telecommunications services' are treated differently from 'information services'.
KPN claims it is working with ISPs to set up a new Arbitration Board for 'internet services'.

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