VoIP services banned in the Middle EastSaturday, October 07, 2006
This story coming out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is mind-boggling. Dubai is the uncontested Internet capital of the Middle East, yet they've banned VoIP service and IP Telephony; basically anything that isn't routed through their state telecom provider. From the article:
...the ban has "put back the clock on globalisation," as the service had enabled companies to work in-sync with other country offices through the use of VoIP services. "In its defence, the Telecommunications Regulations Authority (TRA) responded:
This technology has, in a sense, shrunk the world, it feels as though you are all in the same office, although you are scattered around the globe. The service enabled us to be more dynamic, faster and more responsive. The ban does not mesh well with the overall stated goals of the UAE."
...this service has to be dealt with like any other telecom service, and like other telecom services it requires licensing and authorisations to be provided."However, there is hope for users. Even the country's main telecom service provider admits that:
Responding to queries as to why some areas receive access to VoIP services and others do not, Etisalat said that there were always new ways of getting around blocks because of the "dynamic nature of the internet."With many encryption and anonymizing services emerging, this ban cannot defeat the openness of the Internet. Read what Dubai residents have to say about the ban.