ISPs find it Pricy to Monitor Voice Traffic – Requesting PTA to Withdraw Decision

In response to PTA’s directive, Internet service Providers of Pakistan have responded to PTA negatively – and said that that they cannot monitor voice traffic over their networks, due to lack of infrastructure.

It merits mentioning Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had asked all Internet Service Providers to ensure that their bandwidth is not used for voice or VoIP for any other un-authorized purpose.

Here is the letter sent to PTA by ISPAK

Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan

No. 2(3)/2007-ISPAK
15 June 2009

Mr. Kamran Ali
Director General
(Law & Regulations)
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

Subject: Voice over bandwidth of ISPs

Dear Sir,

With reference to your letter No. 14-1/L&R/PTA/771 dated 4 June 2009 to all ISPs, we’d like to submit as under:

  1. ISPs have no mechanism to detect VoIP on customer’s circuits. PTA has invested a huge amount of operators contribution for installation of such a facility and this matter has therefore to be tackled by PTA itself.
  2. ISPs can install the VoIP monitoring and mitigating facility if PTA provides funding for such a facility as the industry is already in debt due to selling below the costs and anti competitive practices of the incumbent, i.e., PTCL. These practices have so far gone unchecked by the regulator due to non-regulation of broadband Internet tariffs.
  3. ISPs cannot take any action against any customer doing illegal VoIP as they don’t have statutory powers to do so. If PTA informs of illegal activity done by any customer to the concerned ISP, the ISPs’ action can only be limited to locking of that customer’s account and providing customer details PTA.
  4. Due to PTA’s indiscriminatory blocking the IP addresses on Internet gateways without any notification and evidence, ISPs have been greatly suffering and that has been brought to the notice of PTA many times in recent past.
  5. PTA needs to clarify that if a customer of an ISP is supposedly involved in illegal VoIP, how ISP can be held responsible for such matter?

In view of above, we’d request you to kindly withdraw the above mentioned letter.

With kind regards.

Yours truly,
Wahaj us Siraj


c.c.      Mr. Naguib ullah Malik, Secretary, Ministry of IT, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.
Chairman PTA, Islamabad
Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Bhatti, Member Telecom, Ministry of IT, Islamabad

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK