Bell Canada has launched a consumer VoIP service, Bell Digital Voice, in three locations in the Quebec province: Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivieres, without having the necessary approval from the regulator. The company has been careful to avoid calling the new service a VoIP service, instead opting to use the term ‘retail Internet applications’ to describe its new service. The reason for the wording is that the only explicit CRTC regulation on Internet services is a 1998 ruling that exempts ‘retail Internet applications’ from pricing regulations. The CRTC is currently in the throes of developing a VoIP policy, but this is not expected to be formalized until later this year.
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