New regulations in Europe could leave American-based we-based telecommunications tools on hold.
Specifically, programs such as Facebook Messengers, WhatsApp and Skype could be impacted as The European Commission hopes to include companies sending calls and messages over the web under traditional telecom rules. Such programs, currently, aren’t impacted by those regulations but a recent decision to update rules may put such ventures in a new category.
The idea comes under the commission’s Digital Single Market which aims to create a level playing field when it comes to digital goods and services.
“The Commission is indeed working on an update of EU telecoms rules under its Digital Single Market strategy,” Nathalie Vandystadt, a spokesperson for the EU’s Digital Single Market, said in a statement to PC Mag. “The upcoming reform of the EU telecoms framework should incentivize and leverage more private investment in next-generation networks, provide regulatory predictability and the right conditions for all operators to invest.
“The Commission is looking into to what extent people can consider OTT services like WhatsApp and Skype to be functional substitutes for services provided by traditional telecoms operators, and is considering whether [the] scope of the current EU rules needs to be adapted, to ensure adequate levels of consumer protection and ensure that regulation does not distort competition.”
While there have been no changes yet if the commission decides to change things it would put such services under similar regulations as companies which provide text message and voice call services.