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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 13, 2013 at 6:04 AM

France to investigate whether Skype is a telecom

Regulators in France contend that Skype is an electronic communications operator yet did not register as such in France, as required by law — opening the door for investigation by Paris prosecutors.

The French regulatory agency, called Arcep, said in a news release that it had requested several times that Skype declare itself as an electronic communications operator but that the company has failed to do so.

A company is not required to get administrative approval before operating as a telecom in France but is required to declare itself as such beforehand, according to the Arcep news release, which adds that failure to do so is a criminal offence. Arcep says it has relayed the facts of the case to prosecutors.

Skype allows users to make voice and video calls over the Internet, using a technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP)

e company was started in 2003, and the service has become popular for its free or low-cost local and international voice and video calls. The service runs over the Internet instead of traditional landlines or cellular networks. It uses a technology called voice over Internet protocol, also known as VoIP.

Skype contends it is not an electronic communications services under French law, saying in a statement Tuesday:

Skype is a globally known and used software app that seamlessly enables millions of people to communicate every day via their internet connection.  We have engaged with ARCEP in discussion over the last several months during which we shared our view that Skype is not a provider of electronic communications services under French law.  We will continue to work with ARCEP in a constructive fashion to seek agreement on a resolution that ensures people, wherever they are, can continue to rely on Skype as they do today.

 

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: france, skype, telecom

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