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French regulator says Skype must register as a telco or risk prosecution

Peter Sayer | March 13, 2013
Registered operators must provide emergency calling service and lawful intercept capabilities.

The Chairman of ARCEP has informed the Paris public prosecutor of these facts, which could be classified as a criminal offence, the regulator said in a news release.

ARCEP's April 2012 letter to Skype also asked the company about Skype In, a service that provides Skype customers with a regular telephone number in a country of their choice at which they can receive calls, said Hernandez. ARCEP is no longer pursuing registration of Skype In because Skype explained that it is only acting as a sales intermediary for Completel, a company that is registered as a telecommunications operator in France. Another service, Skype To Go, is not of concern because it is not yet sold in France, Hernandez said.

Skype is not the only one to offer PC-to-phone calling services. Others include VoxOx, Goober and Google Voice, which all publish rates for calls to France.

Questioned about the regulator's focus on Skype, Hernandez made no comment on whether VoxOx or Goober would be required to register, but said that Google Voice is not commercialized in France. "The service uses a number in the North American numbering plan, and Google is not supposed to attribute such numbers to French residents," he said.

 

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