VoIP Service Providers Guide and Customer Booklet
Communications Alliance has published the following two documents to assist users and providers of VoIP services:
the ‘So you want a VoIP service?’ Customer Booklet (PDF) (Word)
the ‘VoIP Service Provider Guide' (PDF) (Word)
The ‘So you want a VoIP service?’ Customer Booklet (now in its second reprint) is designed to assist consumers and small businesses who are considering a VoIP service for their home or office.
The booklet takes readers through “The seven steps to VoIP” under the following chapter headings:
- Why do you want a VoIP phone service?
- Things to consider
- Ensuring that your broadband is up to it
- Deciding on a VoIP service provider
- Connecting it all up
- Using your VoIP service
- Customer service and your rights
The VoIP Service Provider Guide is a companion document to the Communications Alliance ‘So you want a VoIP phone service?’ Customer Booklet. This Guide provides assistance to VoIP Service Providers in understanding the types of responses to customers’ questions.
The Service Provider Guide covers the following areas:
- Service features and applications - telephone line provisioning, service features, business needs, access for people with disabilities
- Telephone Numbers - phone number provisioning, making calls, emergency access, phone number displays, number directories and assistance
- Broadband service
- VoIP service
- Customer premises - configuration, quality, availability / power supply, general safety and privacy/security issues
- Customer service
- Billing - Service charges, contracts and billing
- Consumer protection issues
Communications Alliance VoIP Projects
The following projects have been completed under Communications Alliance:
- IP Network Quality of Service (on bearer QoS parameters)
Communications Alliance established a Working Committee to develop a guideline for Carriage Service Providers, such as ISPs, on Network IP Quality of Service (QoS) to define a default set of Network IP QoS classes for all services for use in Australian IP networks. This includes addressing IP packet delay, packet jitter and packet loss. It also addressed IP packet prioritization as a means of implementing the Network IP QoS through, for example, the use of IP packet marking and packet handling.
- Voice over IP Quality of Service (on End-to-end ‘teleservice’ QoS parameters)
Communications Alliance established a Working Committee to develop a guideline for Australian VoIP Service Providers and end users on Voice over IP (VoIP) QoS. This Guideline is to provide a measure of VoIP quality in a usable format for end users e.g. a ‘number’ or rating based on ITU-T Recommendation G.108. This distils available information on the type of VoIP Customer Equipment (CE), codecs, the use of echo cancellers, etc. into a more usable format for end users.
- IP Location Information
A Working Group developed a report on a list of technology choices for use in a guideline on location information for services using IP networks (e.g. VoIP) and a recommendation of a preferred option for a location information format.
Discussion paper on Quality of Service for VoIP interconnectivity
ACIF released a discussion paper on Quality of Service (QoS) VoIP Service Interconnectivity for public comment from 22 March 2006. To further identify the steps that need to be taken by the industry to resolve QoS issues, ACIF sought submissions in response to the questions and matters for comment raised in the paper. Market Clarity analysts Shara Evans and Richard Chirgwin were commissioned to write the discussion paper. QoS issues have been identified as one of the major concerns relating to VoIP, and are particularly complex because of the level of coordination required between VoIP providers.
Fact Sheets for VoIP Providers
Providers of Internet Telephony or Voice over IP (VoIP) services need to understand their obligations and responsibilities to their customers, including the need to supply all relevant information about their services. The What you should tell your customers about their Internet Telephony/VoIP Service Fact Sheet (updated on 31/01/06) has been expanded for greater clarity and detail in light of the findings of the Telsyte report into Consumer VoIP Services in Australia.
The Access to Emergency Services for users of VoIP and Internet Telephony Fact Sheet spells out a set of procedures for VoIP providers that if followed will assist emergency services locate the source of an incoming VoIP call. The Telstra Procedure For Making Test Calls to Emergency Codes 000/112 provides assistance to providers in testing calls to emergency numbers.
The VoIP Security Fact Sheet is designed to alert VoIP and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) about security issues they need to address as this technology emerges. It highlights some of the ways VoIP calls, networks and systems can be vulnerable to malicious or criminal attack. The fact sheet offers advice to providers about the need to safeguard their own infrastructure and suggests that they also educate their customers on the need to take precautions.
Guide to VoIP Terms
A Basic Guide to VoIP Technical Terms and Issues helps VoIP providers supply information to their customers. The guide seeks to offer a basic set of terms that can be consistently used across the industry.
Communications Alliance VoIP forums
An ACIF forum was held in December 2004 on VOIP – Self-Regulatory Initiatives.
The 2nd VoIP Forum: Identifying the Missing Links was held in December 2005.
The 3rd Annual VoIP Forum - Headlining VoIP was held on 13 December 2006.
Background on VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol services or VoIP as it is commonly called, also known as IP Telephony and Internet Telephony, rightly or wrongly as distinctions do exist, is the use of IP technology for voice services. The increased take up of broadband services, the availability of relevant equipment and software and the increasing number of service providers offering products to the residential market are all factors that have resulted in VoIP being high on the agenda for the telecommunications industry.
An online directory of Australian consumer, business and wholesale VoIP service providers can be found at www.marketclarity.com.au/voip. The directory provides a comprehensive and current listing of providers by service type with links to the providers websites