The CRTC issued its much anticipated VoIP decision earlier today. Much to the chagrin of the major telcos, the Commission has adopted a strong regulatory approach. While it exempts P2P VoIP providers such as Skype, the traditional providers face a VoIP framework that looks a lot like the current local regulatory framework.
The Commission reasons that for consumers, local VoIP service looks a lot like (and is marketed like) traditional local phone service. Accordingly, the Commission has set a regulatory framework that addresses everything from reseller registration to phone directory listings to privacy protection.
Up to this point, I’d argue that Commission is on solid ground. Robust competition requires a level playing field and ensuring that all providers can offer equivalent services that consumers rely upon may require regulatory intervention of this kind.