Is Interconnection Actually Required for VOIP?

To quote from the draft rules on VOIP by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC): 

” No value-added service provider shall provide VoIP services to the public for compensation – where such services require access to and/or use of a network provider’s network, facilities and/or equipment – unless it has entered into an agreement with such network provider as to the terms and conditions of fair and reasonable access and/or interconnection charges for such access and/or use.” 

What if an ISP wants to offer VOIP, but does not need to interconnect the system with any telco? ie. Use Wimax as the last mile ? In this instance is an interconnection agreement still needed? I hope enough interested citizens can comment on this.

You see, most ISPs fear that they will never get the interconnection agreement with any of the existing carriers. If you file a complaint with the NTC to ‘step’ in and force interconnection, only God knows how long it will take to resolve the issue. The 2 year old case of PISO against a local carrier for “cross-subsidizing” its internet operations and its unfair practice is still pending with the NTC.—i rest my point.

In a related blog,  Atty JJ Disini has already made short work of the “Unconstitutionality Argument“.  Dr Bill Torres , acknoledged as the Grandfather of Philippine Internet and currently, the President of PISO, has this to say about the current issue as printed by business day:


In fact, they (telcos) will generate other revenue channels if they allow VoIP and other VAS. (A phone line) when connected to the Internet, allows you to do more than a voice call, more than Internet access, allows you to do so many things – surfing, email, entertainment, chat. So the point is, on that same infrastructure, you can generate applications from which you can generate revenues.

So if more people can develop more applications, they will get more lines from PLDT,” says Torres. Petef, in its position paper to the NTC, projects that “VoIP will exponentially expand the market for ‘land lines’ and broadband. Geometric double-digit growth rates may be expected over the next 10 years, comparable to the more than 25% growth in cellular over the past 15 years.”