ACMA unveils regulatory approach to VoIP services

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced a new approach to dealing with the regulation of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.’VoIP services have been of interest to ACMA for some time, but the market has continued to grow and to evolve with a considerable diversity in the way these services are provided. This has in turn led ACMA to consider the implications for the way we think about applying regulation to them,’ said Chris Cheah, Acting ACMA Chairman. ‘ACMA’s new approach to applying current regulation to VoIP aims to strike a balance between effectively applying regulation while continuing to enable innovation and providing greater clarity to industry around service provider obligations,’Mr Cheah was speaking at the CommsDay Summit 2008 in Sydney.ACMA’s is proposing to adopt a three-strand approach to VoIP. First, ACMA has been reviewing how existing regulation applies to the kinds of services that are now available and to consider our priorities. Secondly, ACMA will be engaging with industry and consumers. Thirdly we will be putting in place a specific compliance program.To give practical effect to its new approach, ACMA has developed a VoIP engagement strategy, which aims to provide information to assist an understanding of the regulatory framework and ACMA’s approach.The strategy also intends to inform VoIP carriage service providers on how the suite of regulations applies to them and to outline the types of VoIP services that are subject to regulation. ACMA has also set priorities to focus its efforts in 2008.’Raising awareness and educating parties about their regulatory obligations is an integral part of ACMA’s compliance activities. ACMA welcomes the opportunity to work directly with the VoIP industry and aim to do this by conducting industry seminars and meeting directly with interested service providers,’ Mr Cheah said.Initial industry seminars are being arranged for Sydney (8 May) and Melbourne (date to be advised). Providers can register interest by email to ACMA may visit other locations depending on levels of interest.Comprehensive information about ACMA’s regulatory approach to VoIP is available on the ACMA website, at

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