Largest Canadian Phone Companies say NO to VoIP Regs

Canada’s federal CRTC recently made a decision to regulate VoIP services.

Added John Meldrum, vice-president of SaskTel: “By regulating only our VoIP service, the commission is attempting to maintain artificially high prices. This also inhibits innovation, reducing the telephone companies’ incentives to develop and launch new services.”

I am pleasantly surprised to see these large telcos of old embracing new technology. Considering the cable companies will potentially have them at a disadvantage by offering broadband via cable instead of DSL makes me wonder what they have up their sleeve.


Video over IP – Interop 101 | Can you see me now?

Hmm, no… not really.

Cool devices (software and hardware) are only cool if you can use them to communicate with others who may not be using the same cool device. Andy would know, he is getting asked to test everyone’s stuff. It looks like the early days of VoIP are back but this time in full color. Now we have SIP devices not interoperating with other SIP devices.

Come on guys, do the interop! All the cool kids are doing it.

Email Robert Sparks and go to SIPit already! The 17th event is being held in Stockholm, hosted by Hotsip. Registration ends Aug. 14. Grab your best engineers and head out, they will love you for it and you will not believe just how valuable these events are. If there is one interop event you need to take part in.. it’s SIPit.

E911 for VoIP – Political BS

There is a lot of fuss about E911 or the lack thereof which apparently gives the FCC ammo to shut down VoIP services who don’t comply.

To this I say B*** SH***

Andy got it right. Why is the government so adamant about E911 for VoIP when most cellular networks do not offer anything better?! Yes I understand how triangulation works but most wireless operators do not have the wherewithal to use that technology. Heck, if we are going to assign responsibility like that to VoIP why not short wave radio or CBs or Walkie Talkies!!

I know, it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it! So does this new mandate of E911 for VoIP and the crazy timelines the FCC have imposed. Everyone knows it’s the big telcos once again applying pressure and lobbying the right politician, neither of them knowing next to nothing about VoIP.

Most of the smaller VoIP providers can not afford to deal with this from a legal or operational perspective, not to mention the hassle it will impose on the users. Russell Shaw has some good comments on this.

Another good example of Uncle Sam stomping on Free Enterprise. I sincerely doubt the telcos of old were treated this way when 911 was first mandated.

I think we need another petition Jeff!

VoIP Security

VoIP Security gets more attention as Phil Zimmerman builds prototype of PGP VoIP.

Wired features an interview with Zimmerman on PGP VoIP.

Like PGP and PGPfone, which he created as human rights tools for people around the world to communicate without fear of government eavesdropping, Zimmermann hopes his new program will restore some of the civil liberties that have been lost in recent years and help businesses shield themselves against corporate espionage.

It should be interesting to see what the VoIPSA (VoIP Security Alliance) and the others involved at the IETF have to say about Zimmerman’s proposal.

VoIP Security in a nutshell:
Eavesdropping – Listening in / recording calls without the participant’s consent. I think it would probably be easier to for the average hacker to jack into the PSTN network as the tools are already abundant for that.
Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks – Usually a packet storm aimed at a critical central server in the VoIP network of choice
Registration or Identity Theft – SIP traditionally requires the registration of an IP address with their SIP ID or URI. Today this URI can be spoofed, that needs to get fixed and the IETF gurus are working on it.
SPIT (Spam over Internet Telephony) – Spammers can create a spam engine that blasts a great number of calls per second.
SPIM – (Spam over Instant Messaging) – Bulk and potentially malicious spam sent to an IM user’s ID. Since many of the new applications are IM/VoIP apps we need to consider this.
Caller ID Phishing – Spammers can recreate the caller ID being sent to any one they chose, making it harder to NOT pick up the phone.

One thing is for sure, we need to work on this. Spammers are smart, it won’t take them long to figure out how to make great sums of money sending junk calls to your phone.

P2P VoIP using SIP and Open Standards

Every operator/portal/service provider/mso [Yahoo,AOL,Gizmo,Comcast, Verizon,EarthLink,etc.] out there are rushing to create, or recreate, an IM VoIP soft client that has all the appeal of Skype with open standard compatibility. Since the most predominant and most promising VoIP protocol out their is SIP [Session Initiation Protocol] we are seeing a migration away from proprietary protocols towards SIP.

The next significant phase in the growth of IP communications will include open standards P2P VoIP.

David Bryan and Cullen Jennings, along with a boatload of very smart industry leaders in the IETF, are working on new extensions to the existing SIP protocol. It’s called P2P SIP. After looking at the draft I would say it has a ways to go yet but I can see where this technology could become very useful to all VoIP operators like Free World Dialup operated by Jeff Pulver. & his new CTO Henry Sinnreich. Apparently they think so too considering they are looking for a response to their RFI which includes an earlier component of P2P SIP called Chord.

Even operators like Vonage or device manufacturers like PhoneGnome and Linksys PAP2 could make use of P2P SIP.

Everyone is looking for a new solution for P2P VoIP, I think P2P SIP is the answer, do you? Read the latest P2P SIP draft and tell me what you think.

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