“In most jurisdictions, there are huge uncertainties on regulatory treatment of cloud communications,” warns Aphaia Founder and Managing Partner Dr Boštjan Makarovič and co-author of Walden: Telecommunications Law and Regulation. “Most law firms and even telecommunications regulators themselves often find it difficult to provide adequate answers.”

Why? Telecommunications regulatory frameworks are built on the concept of traditional telecommunications networks. Even where the service is provided separately from the network, as it is often the case in liberalised, competitive markets, there is expected to be a degree of control over the network itself the operater would have to exercise. But this is changing with the advent of many OTT and cloud communications (CaaS) solutions that can function in a network-independent way.

Whereas the regulators and policy-makers often talk about ‘level-playing field’ for all services, they tend to neglect the original reasons for heavy regulation of the telecoms sector that are increasingly irrelevant in an OTT-dominated environment. Conversely, technological bias may be present regardless of technology-neutral regulation.

At Aphaia, we have learned how to analyse telecommunications law under such uncertain conditions. We understand that the pace of technological change does not allow the regulatory and policy processes to adequately address new means of communications that are typically performed over-the-top (OTT) and in the cloud. We further keep in mind various regulatory attitudes that are just as likely to affect the regulatory treatment of services as the letter of the law.

Our wider approach and experience in the field, including our work with companies l ike Avaya and T-2, is explained on our telecoms regulation and policy page. And remember, if you require assistance with any of the above issues, please get in touch.