Wheatley Demands Update from OUR on VoIP Block

Opposition Spokesman on ICT and Digital Society Development, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, is taking the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to task over its failure to present the nation with a timely update on its intervention efforts following the move by telecommunications entities LIME and Digicel to block certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications.

Dr. Wheatley says it has been over 3 months since the OUR’s intervention, but although back in July it stated that it had requested additional information from the telcos and had the matter under review, the nation is yet to receive an update.

The Opposition Spokesman said: “It is imperative that the OUR promptly reports to the nation on the progress and outcome of its intervention, and that it does not allow the situation to languish much longer.”

Dr. Wheatley continued to question the Government’s position on the VoIP blockade, its support of the principle of Net Neutrality and the moves by LIME and Digicel to block these applications. He said: “The Government must recognize its ultimate responsibility in this matter, and should be mindful that while matters of enforcement and oversight are within the OUR’s remit, it is Government itself that actually sets policy direction and law.”

Dr. Wheatley further took the Government to task over continued delays in bringing forward suitable legislation which would avert controversy like that now being seen in the VoIP-related dispute between the telcos and other sector interests. Wheatley said: “The absence of robust and effective ICT legislation is setting back the ICT sector, because gaps in the existing legislative provisions are being exploited, and will continue to be exploited if the Government doesn’t get its act together.”