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VoIP-based calling services provider Skype announced this week that subscribers in the U.S. and Canada will be able to make free calls to traditional landlines and mobile phones in the United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan during three Skype Days of Summer; weekends, starting this Saturday, July 15th.
This is already occurring in the Central American country of Belize - VoIP is (mostly) illegal. Most dismaying to those who pay for Vonage and can't use it.
Mostly? News 5: P.U.C.: VoIP verdict is fair and legal [channel5belize.com]
The verdict is in on VoIP and according to the Public Utilities Commission, if the service provider isn't licensed in Belize, it ain't legal. According to the P.U.C., in its attempt to categorize, classify, and legalize the popular internet protocol, it has determined that if a customer downloads software and uses it to communicate with other subscribers, that person does not require a license. One such example is the Skype. But if you register with a company like Vonage and get a telephone number where anyone can contact you that service has to be licensed here.
BTL, the local telco, was filtering all packets going through their network - creating a huge slowdown for everyone - and dropping anything that seemed to be voice or video data (including such things as IM clients). The attitude was, and is, if you want to talk to someone outside the country, then that's what our expensive long-distance rates are for. And if you want to see them? That's what videotape is for.
Ah, the joys of being a monopoly... ;)
Sigh, up to the doorstep, but can't knock on the door... (Belize hangs off the most southeast edge of Mexico, on the Caribbean Sea.)