Dozens of VOIP services have appeared from thin air and it has also started to dominate how people communicate in the modern world. However, it is starting to get a bit problematic since VOIP services are starting to cross from their respective networks and into Public Switched Telephone networks (“landlines”). Hence, the problem of bypass is going to be quite a handful for Philippine companies like PLDT, Bayantel and Globe.
Bypass is basically making a phone call to a “landline” from the Internet without paying the “landline” company (the local exchange operator) any duties or fees for the use of their network. The continuance of this practice would be detrimental for the aforementioned companies since people would seek to avail of the cheaper VOIP rates rather than the usual IDD services offered leading to significant losses in revenues.
Fortunately for said companies, Section 8 (b) of Republic Act No. 7925 (the Public Telecommunications Policy Act) provides that local exchange operators shall be protected from uncompensated bypass. Nevertheless, the Act is lacking in any specific safeguards against this occurrence. This is an unsettled issue which needs to be addressed in the near future.