Tunisian officials seek to reassure over VoIP


Any businesses looking to expand into Tunisia will have been keeping a careful eye on recent political developments there.

The country has experienced a period of political upheaval, with Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali ousted from his presidency and forced to flee the country earlier this month amidst scenes of riots and protests.

However, Tunisian government officials have sought to reassure firms that their communications networks and business phone systems will be free from any obstacles.

In a statement released this week, the Secretariat of State for Communications Technologies said that every IP telephony systems is

“free from any technical restrictions hindering its use”

The statement was released to quell fears that the Tunisian government was seeking to hinder any free use of the technology. It also went on to say that any form of censorship or control exercised by authorities over the content of all business and private emails will also cease, and that the use of SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) will also be free from restrictions.

Restrictions placed on Internet usage in Tunisia are not quite as severe as China, but access to sites with indecent content, violent elements or those that incite any form of hatred is curtailed. It is thought that online groups helped to organise and encourage the recent protests.

The news will be welcomed among many domestic and business users of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony, as the popularity of the technology gains ground due to the increased cost effectiveness and versatility when compared to traditional land line telephones.

Many international rights groups have called upon Tunisia in the past to ensure that the technology is freely available for anyone that wishes to use it. In response, the government has an email address available (contactàweb@liberte.tn) for anyone wishing to ask them about freedom of internet access.