Canada regulates telecom VoIP, startups left untouched

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) this week ruled that the nation's incumbent phone operators, including Telus and Bell Canada, will face the same regulation for their new VoIP services as for their traditional landline voice services. The decision is seen as a major win for VoIP startups, which will be exempt from the rule and will be free to charge whatever rates they see fit. The ILECs, on the other hand, will have their rates regulated by the CRTC. The agency says the ruling is designed to ensure that new entrants into the market, including the country's major cable companies, will have an opportunity to compete in the VoIP market and not be undercut by predatory pricing. The CRTC rejected the telcoms' argument that VoIP is an Internet application, not a phone service, and should therefore not be regulated.

For more on Canada's VoIP regulation:
- check out this piece from the Globe and Mail