EU to force Skype to behave more like BT

This week it looks likely that the European Union will propose new rules for apps like Skype and WhatsApp and insist that the behave more like traditional telecoms operators.

skype-emergency-callsSome of the proposals include forcing services like Skype support emergency call dialling across the EU. Another change could be that where a user purchases a SkypeIn number to allow receipt of calls from traditional phone lines, that the user be allowed to migrate that number to another provider should they wish to do so at some point in the future.

Ever more numbers of online retailers are relying on internet telephony services to run their businesses. If you have outsourced operations overseas for listing, management, translation or customer support it’s likely that you use a service like Skype to communicate.

Traditional telecoms operators will welcome the news – for a long time they’ve wanted the online upstarts to have to abide by some of the same services levels that they provide. In turn online services point out that their services is only as good as your Internet connection and relying on an online service in an emergency isn’t a robust enough solution. If there’s a power cut you’re unlikely to be able to make a Skype call from your laptop while your broadband router is out of operation.

So far it’s all discussion, but it will be interesting to watch as 21st century telecoms start to be regulated in the same was as that from the 19th century.