Ofcom proposal to make VoIP for businesses more financially attractive


The financial benefits to companies of adopting broadband-based services such as business VoIP could become even more pronounced if internet service providers are able to pass on proposed cost savings to their business customers.

Ofcom, the UK telecommunications regulator, has called on BT to reduce- the annual prices it charges internet service providers (ISPs) to use its broadband infrastructure. Depending on the particular category of wholesale charge levied, the proposals could see a reduction in costs for ISPs of anything between 1.2% and 14.6%.

Since ISPs compete to supply businesses with broadband access it is hoped that any reduction in BT’s wholesale costs would in turn help the ISPs become more competitive in the rates they offer businesses.

Broadband access is becoming increasingly important to businesses as the technology offers the opportunity to incorporate additional features and services into their day-to-day operations which help improve efficiency and drive down costs.

One such service that broadband can help enable – and which is becoming increasingly popular – is business VoIP.

Business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) is a means of making voice calls over the internet rather than via traditional telephone line connections. As well as offering a much simpler way of adding and altering phone connections within an office, business VoIP’s main advantage – as seen by many of its subscribers – is that its call tariffs are usually much lower than those charged by conventional telephone companies.

If, in addition to lower calls, businesses could also be charged less for internet access, the financial case for switching to business VoIP would of course become even more compelling.

The Ofcom proposals have so far been resisted by BT on the grounds that lowering its wholesale charges would represent a less fair rate of return on the investment it makes each year in broadband infrastructure.