And when it does and if it is successful, the competition could put a hurting on the incumbent which is BTL. The chair of BTL’s executive committee Dean Boyce today told us the company welcomes competition. Boyce however warned that a decrease in their revenues for international calls could have a domino effect on other services, meaning that the price of cellular and local calls could shoot up. Boyce says the issue was never about VoIP, it was and is about the cost of calls on other media.
Dean Boyce, Chairman of BTL’s Executive Committee
“This really isn’t a question of VoIP per say. The only reason people ere getting so excited about this is because they want to make cheap international calls. And if somebody said to us, ‘well okay guys you can charge everything on a cost first basis with reasonable profit margin on each service,’ then our international rates would come down but a lot of our local and domestic service will go up and that’s the real issue.
Let’s say I said, ‘sure we’ll offer that service.’ Would you be prepared to accept local access doubling and tripling? Would you be prepared to accept the cost of internet, where we’re losing money, to increase substantially which means that those people that do not normally make international calls are going to see their bills substantially increased. So you have to address that issue as well. It’s okay asking me but we are always portrayed as the bad guys but we have been implementing government policies for years and really somebody needs to address those issues.”
Is BTL blocking services like Skype?
“We are providing an internet service and if our system will not allow access to some certain foreign service providers, then that is not really my concern.”
So the answer is yes.
“We’ve talked to the PUC about how we doing and what we doing and its up to them to provide you with anything.”
The PUC indicated that BTL can block Vonage, but they would have to notify you first.