French Investigation of Skype Looms Over Telecom Operator Registration

Companies providing electronic communication services in France do not need any kind of regulatory approval, but they need to declare themselves as an electronic communication service provider before they start providing such kind of services in France. According to ARCEP, any company failing to comply with this obligation will have to face criminal charges.

According to Skype, it is not a provider of electronic communications under the French law. Skype said, “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.”

On the other hand ARCEP is of the opinion that the services provided by Skype do fall under the category of telephone services. Because of this Skype needs to ensure “compliance with certain obligations, which include the routing of emergency calls and implementing the means required to perform legally ordered interceptions”, said ARCEP.

Since, Skype users are allowed to make voice calls to fixed and mobile numbers to France and other parts of the world, as per the French Law, Skype is compelled to allow emergency calls and give permission for legal interception of calls as and when required.