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ITSPA

Internet Telephony Service Providers Association Responds To Ofcom’s Measures to Encourage Internet Telephony

Industry Body Welcomes Regulator’s Proposals


London, 6th September 2004: ITSPA today welcomed Ofcom’s new and positive approach towards the ‘New Voice’ sector, declaring it to be forward-looking, whilst maintaining a careful and considered balance between emerging technologies, consumer concerns and the launch of the new internet telephony age.
During the consultation process, ITSPA has met with Ofcom a number of times, to help present the cases for this approach. ITSPA was formed to provide a single voice from the internet telephony industry in response to the initial position of Ofcom in the numerous consultations taking place, which ITSPA members deemed to not be favourable.
Eli Katz, founder member of ITSPA said today: "This new approach by Ofcom to the ‘New Voice Services’ will be instrumental in providing a solid interim framework for the development of the next generation of the new internet telephony services. ITSPA welcomes the new stance, and all the key issues we called for have been delivered. We hope to continue to be actively involved in the shaping of policy and other industry-led activities including a Code of Practice, which will be crucial for the successful growth of this area."
A number of key issues remain, including portability and the commercial viability of ported numbers. Under the current "onward routing" method, the ongoing costs for portability are a significant barrier to porting, which in turn, is a significant barrier to the mass market, at both consumer and business level.
Kim Thesiger, co-founder of Gossiptel and a founder member of ITSPA says, "Whilst the UK remains behind the curve, on take-up and provision of internet telephony services, Ofcom’s announcement has opened up the playing field, by removing many of the uncertainties for the category. The broader concerns remain on portability, broadband penetration, and an ability to offer primary line new voice services. We will help Ofcom deliver its goal of limiting full regulation by providing a suitable environment for self or co-regulatory activity.
‘ITSPA will continue to work with EU and Ofcom, to ensure that these interim guidelines, are in the main, accepted, for final policy statement. Ofcom has stated that the industry can help coordinate the relevant consumer awareness strategy and implementation to deliver informed consumer choice; offer location information for emergency calls and a self or co-regulatory environment. ITSPA has already started this process and we look forward to these announcements in due course.”

Media enquiries:
Lisa Hulme or Sarah Baron
Big-mouths PR
Tel: 020 7 385 0009 / Gossip to us on 0870 930 0138
Email: gossiptel@big-mouths.com

Alternatively, ITSPA can be contacted by telephoning Kim Thesiger on +44 (0)7768-912063 or Eli Katz on +44 (0)7973 632364, emailing info@itspa.org.uk or making a free SIP call to sip:111@itspa.org.uk

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