back to article Landline deregulation: Big EU telcos have Skype to thank

Traditional telcos have caught a break from the European Commission with the fixed telephony and the wholesale fixed call markets set to be immediately deregulated. However, Steelie Neelie Kroes, the outgoing digital agenda commissioner, denied that this was a sop to get lots of very large and powerful companies on-side, via …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I look forward to.....

    ...significant unintended consequences. That's usually what happens in these situations.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please....

    ...can we get rid of the stupid ****ing rules that say we have to have a registered office in country to provide a phone number/ For example, if I want to give our German customers a German number to call, we can, even we have no office in Germany.

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: Please....

      That's not regulation, that's your supplier refusing to sell you a product.

      I can buy EU numbers to be delivered to the UK from a whole selection of suppliers. I can do it in most places around the world. Even Skype will sell you a number. You don't need to be resident or have an office in any of the countries.

      http://www.skype.com/en/features/online-number/

      1. sysconfig

        Re: Please....

        "That's not regulation, that's your supplier refusing to sell you a product."

        Not entirely correct, at least not for the previous poster's example.

        In some countries, like Germany, you have to be resident to get a phone number assigned. Even Skype tells you that when you try to order a German phone number. The UK do not have such a regulatory requirement, and the majority of other countries don't either.

        1. Terry Barnes

          Re: Please....

          Hmm, interesting. It's possible to buy a German toll free number that gets delivered to the UK though, the restriction is only on geographic numbers.

          1. Ole Juul

            Re: Please....

            Callcentric has German DIDs if anybody wants them. However, the above poster is correct in that one needs to prove a German presence. CC's site says this:

            PLEASE NOTE: Due to German regulations you must be able to provide documentary evidence of an existing physical address within the city you are ordering a number from. If you have questions please contact support.

            I have several numbers which are not in my own country. Is there anything stopping a user from spoofing a German number? I don't think so. Germany is just a little old fashioned in this regard and it is a nuisance for somebody who wants to have a traditional "local" number for business purposes such as the earlier poster suggested. In that case a spoofed number is of no use, but my point is that there is no longer any practical purpose for that regulation.

            This will all go away as people start to realize that there is no such thing as "long distance" any more. I don't have long distance charges, and no, I don't have any kind of plan. The ILECs are just clinging to old vocabulary so they can screw their users. Kroes is right when she suggests we're dealing with spoiled children.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Slightly off topic, but.....

              Living on the border between France and Switzerland, I have long suffered from outrageous roaming charges that can come into play by simply moving around my home.

              BUT NOW (just now), I have found a solution. After trying multiple VOIP products with varying degrees of success, I finally enabled Google voice to work correctly on my Android phone. Some tips: Install the latest Hangouts, then install the Hangouts dialer, then buy some Google Voice credit.

              Now, whilst seated in the comfort of my home I can dial most Euro landlines and mobiles for a couple of pennies a minute (via Wifi of course). Calls to North America are FREE. Calls to Swiss mobiles are still expensive at 18 cents, but when my SWISS CARRIER hits me with a roaming charge, I end up paying 10 times that per minute, so I don't actually give a toss. And before you say turn off roaming, walk a few meters in my shoes to find out what a PITA that really is in a borderline situation like mine.

              To conclude this rant, let me just say that anything which finally helps Europe look less like a banana republic when it comes to mobile telephony can only be a good thing. Go go Kroes girl.... kick some f"ing ass.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Slightly off topic, but.....

                "And before you say turn off roaming, walk a few meters in my shoes to find out what a PITA that really is in a borderline situation like mine."

                There are ways of locking a phone to doggedly prefer a particular carrier and only switch to alternates if nothing else is available, but they're not easy to implement.

                Roaming charges are the spawn of satan and should be eliminated, especially near land borders.

  3. NeilPost Silver badge

    £££££££

    I don't think it will effectively make any real difference, as to dig to provide fixed telephony services costs tons of money - it's why NTL/Telewest went spectacularly bankrupt and emerged after ditching it's debt as Virgin Media - though apart from new estates and easy to do parts - their cable network has barely moved in 10 years. The very same reason Sky. Talk Talk don;t do any real infrastructure too past LLU etc

  4. Rol Silver badge

    It would be nice..

    ..if like the electrical power / rail / gas infrastructures in the Uk, the telco infrastructure was owned by one company and leased out to the many suppliers.

    And I certainly don't mean in the way BT is working that system.

    Hell, the government have been banging on about upping internet speeds for long enough, so why not step in and do it directly. Lay the fibre in a national scheme and lease it out at a reasonable profit.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It would be nice..

      "..if like the electrical power / rail / gas infrastructures in the Uk, the telco infrastructure was owned by one company and leased out to the many suppliers.

      And I certainly don't mean in the way BT is working that system."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorus_Limited

      This was New Zealand's solution to the incumbent telco playing games with its supposedly "chinese walled" lines division. The UK (and other countries) need to do the same thing.

      Since the lines part was split into its own company, the New Zealand market has transformed from being dominated by a rapacious monopoly(*) to having strong competition at all levels.

      (*) New Zealand used to be held up as the poster child of how NOT to privatise your govt-owned telecommunications system.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It would be nice..

        > This was New Zealand's solution to the incumbent telco playing games with its supposedly "chinese walled" lines division. The UK (and other countries) need to do the same thing.

        I don't think so. The split has been a total c*ck up thanks to the big-biz-friendly govt having created a new monopoly for Chorus and pushing aside smaller entrants.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11249807

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9367668/Taxpayers-may-pay-for-lower-Chorus-cost

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1403/S00194/chorus-stitch-up-a-backdoor-bailout.htm

        > Since the lines part was split into its own company, the New Zealand market has transformed from being dominated by a rapacious monopoly(*) to having strong competition at all levels.

        No no no. The competition has become healthier on copper after copper was deregulated (unbundled) by Labour a few years ago, way too late. Now PM John Key is creating for fiber the same old monopoly that empoverished the country. Assh*le!

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