The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has proposed additional guidelines for VoIP service providers in the Philippines in the wake of complaints over current poor service quality. The regulator hopes the measures will ease the burden on the number of interconnection agreements that all IP telephony providers currently need to sign before they can launch commercial services. Under current rules, market entrants need to negotiate separate interconnection agreements with each network operator. However, the watchdog says that would-be VoIP providers struggle to achieve this task. Under the new system being proposed, an IP telephony provider would need only to sign a single interconnection agreement and in lieu of separate agreements, ‘routing charges would be paid by the VoIP provider to course calls made to other telephone networks through the network with which the VoIP provider has an interconnection agreement’. The Inquirer newspaper reports that limits would be placed on the rates that could be applied to routing charges. Additionally, any VoIP call routed through a ‘broadband connection’ would not be covered by any access charges under the new scheme. The NTC will launch a public consultation on its plans next month. There are currently around 20 licensed VoIP providers in the Philippines.
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