Regulation of VoIP Services in the European Union

In order to encourage competition between Internet carriers of telephone traffic and traditional telephone the European Commission favors an EU-wide light touch approach to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. The European Commission launched a consultation on the treatment of Voice over VoIP services under the EU regulatory framework. Based on the conclusions reached in this consultation, the European Commission expressed its intention to promote the development of VoIP services rather than develop detailed guidelines for VoIP. Moreover, VoIP providers often face difficulties to provide guaranteed access to emergency services due to technical limitations. However, rather than impose strict obligations, the European Commission has encouraged market players to collaborate on possible solutions for the provision of emergency access services.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is the role of European Commission in regulating VoIP?
What differences exist in the Member States’ approaches to VoIP?
What are the challenges regarding access to emergency services via VoIP?


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