VoIP clampdown outside Europe

16 July 2007

European VoIP providers may think they have a tough time fighting against big telecoms companies to capture consumers, but this pales in comparison to the clampdown on VoIP services outside of the EU.The government of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean has ruled that it is losing out on communications revenue from long-distance calls thanks to VoIP systems and so has made the calls illegal with violations carrying a sentence of up to two years in jail.This follows similar tough regulations in India, Pakistan and Malaysia, while Bangladesh has used special forces-style teams to crackdown on VoIP use by businesses.A recent Bangladeshi government press conference revealed a haul of VoIP equipment captured in a raid on a business in Chittagong, including VoIP gateways, modems, channel banks and switches.In addition, two company directors were arrested for running the firm, called Bay Phones, which provided public switched telecom networks to businesses in the city.Furthermore, in America there has been a recent backlash against VoIP services prompted by the telecoms industry, with regulations introduced on VoIP use at a federal level while many states are hoping to place a tax on the services.

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