When VoIP has so much to offer to its users, there are countries that block VoIP calls. In countries like Oman, Belize, UAE, usage of VoIP for making phone calls is blocked. In some of these places, the local government has taken the authority in their hands to decide how it’s citizens and, people residing, there shall use the Internet. Different countries have different reasons behind their decision to block VoIP. Irrespective of the cause, normal users often are not able to reap the benefits of using VoIP communications.
Common Reason To Block VoIP Calls
Many Middle East countries claim that they have to block VoIP calls which are against their values. They state that the content of the sites disrespects the values of Islam. Now, the question is blocking certain websites is fine, but why block VoIP calls?
When people can access VoIP, they can make calls and send instant messages at much cheaper rates. Especially, making international calls from these connections will make calling much cheaper. However, irrespective of the obvious advantages, these countries have blocked services of VoIP. One cause behind it could be the drop of revenue for the state-owned telecom companies!
Many of these countries that block VoIP calls have a monopoly over telecommunications and Internet services. Now, if they allow VoIP, it is natural that the total revenue earned by them from the telecom sector, especially from overseas calls, will drop drastically.
Thus, it is quite clear that in many countries like Dubai, where the density of foreign workers is high, allowing VoIP calls will reduce the revenue of state-owned telecom companies. This story is common in almost all other middle-eastern nations like Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Syria and others are following the same principle.
Let’s look at countries in other continents that block VoIP calls and the reasons behind it:
Among all, Panama was the first country to block VoIP calls and communications in 2002. The government commanded that every ISP in the country must block 24 UDP ports that are needed for IP telephony. However, in 2004, the government changed its policy and decided to introduce a tax of 12% on calls. This includes calls made through VoIP.
In Belize you will not be allowed to use VoIP, neither will you be permitted to use free messaging. You cannot use free messengers like MSN Messenger, Google Talk, and Yahoo! IMs are also blocked as they allow free chatting and messaging.
The main reason behind VoIP being blocked in Guyana and other Caribbean countries is a reduction of revenue of the government-owned telecom companies. GT&T is the premier Telephone Company of Guyana, and they have made all calls from IP telephony illegal as it has reduced the revenue of the government.
Although VoIP is currently available in India, it is expected it will be blocked soon. This is mainly because of terrorist threats. The government has asked for a plan to be submitted to them for accessing communications. The plan expects stgrict security measures and the ability of the givernment to monitor all calls. Those companies that do not comply with the government rules will be banned from operating within the country.
Even countries like Paraguay, Pakistan are also found to block VoIP services with more or less same reason as other countries.
Thus, different countries cite different reasons behind blocking VoIP. It is true that with this service international calls cost lot lesser, but it is not profitable for government owned companies. Moreover, there are certain countries where VoIP usage can lead to a breach in security. These countries need to ensure that the security of their nation is not compromised. There are high chances of VoIP system being hacked and it is not good for security. Thus, they put a restriction on usage of VoIP. However, in near future, if the security of these connections is increased and government changes their rules, people can use it from every country.
About Nebula Solutions
Nebula Solutions (originally Technology Convergence Group (TCG)) is a provider of business telecommunication solutions in the Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati, Ohio areas. Nebula Solutions is a Toshiba Platinum Dealer, which is the highest attainable certification level. Nebula Solutions supports all Toshiba telephone systems from the IPedge VoIP system all the way to Strata communication systems. At Nebula Solutions, our technicians are Toshiba certified and have an average of over 20 years of experience.
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