Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Challenge block on VoIP access

Published:Wednesday | July 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I recently learned that Digicel and LIME are blocking the usage of Viber voice services that utilise VoIP (voice-over Internet protocol).

This treatment is unfair and unjust, as customers already pay for a monthly data plan. The key here is the word 'data'.

Data includes such services as surfing the Internet, listening to music, email, instant messages, etc. Viber utilises the same data. It is a protocol that converts voice into data and transmits it the same way email, etc., is transmitted.

Blocking Viber would be tantamount to the postal service in any country blocking email and forcing users to use traditional mail service.

Viber does not deprive the Government of revenue, as consumers pay taxes on the size of their monthly data plan, and excess data usage will attract taxes

I am pretty sure consumers seek out Wi-Fi networks in order to avoid excess data charges. Are we therefore to assume the day will come when users will be blocked from using Wi-Fi?

I trust the technology overseers in Jamaica will challenge the blockage, and that consumers will read up on VoIP technology

WILLIAM RAYMOND