VoIP services have been around for years, but they are only beginning to gain enough prevalence to grab the attention of national governments and regulatory bodies. As a result, telecoms and other service providers have been able to operate with relative freedom and develop service models without having to concern themselves with extensive laws and input from government entities. However, VoIP services are beginning to replace the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in many settings, making regulatory bodies pay more attention to the implications of the technology.
VoIP service providers may want to start preparing for potential regulatory changes by investing in the kind of VoIP gateway solutions and applications that give them the flexibility and performance they need to adapt their services accordingly.
Looking at the VoIP market's regulatory climate
There are a few situations when regulatory or legal considerations impact VoIP providers, such as the need to provide lawful intercept capabilities when legal authorities need to monitor calls. However, the current laws governing VoIP services, in general, are not nearly as stringent and all-encompassing as the regulatory requirements surrounding traditional telecom services. As the calling method gains prominence, telecoms may want to be prepared for increased legal pressure that could impact how they manage their services, interact with consumers and keep up with competitors.
The telecom market has long held a reputation as a sector where near-monopolies are fairly common. Organizations like the Federal Communications Commission help to regulate business dynamics and technological progression in the sector to prevent any organizations from gaining any unfair advantage. Recently, there have been plenty of discussions surrounding whether the FCC will institute regulations that accelerate the move away from the PSTN and toward an all-VoIP future. These regulatory decisions could have a major impact on telecom strategies moving forward. Telecoms could become dependent on flexible VoIP technologies to remain successful in a changing legal climate.
Using VoIP gateway investments to maintain adaptability
Telecoms that keep a close eye on the FCC and other regulatory bodies can get some idea of how legal issues are progressing, but the entire regulatory sector is still fairly unpredictable, especially for service providers operating internationally. Investing in cost-efficient, reliable and high-performance VoIP gateways can give telecoms access to foundational technology that makes it easier to add on applications and services based on regulatory changes, giving them a key edge over competitors.