Iweek 2006: Harald Summa: Voice over the Internet, More questions than Answers

Summa is the Managing Director of the German Internet Industry Association eco. Eco is the German ISPA and related industry, has 300 plus members dealing with topics such as infrastructure, the application of technology and in most of the time lobbying.

In recent times the VoIP has been debated in the public at large, recently the South African industry players and government finally ensured that VoIP is recognised and that people who can use it should do so. The most used form of VoIP is that of video conferencing. Summa distinguished between three types of users. These are freaky users, those indeed behind the VoIP. The second category is what he called the naïve users, these are people who don’t worry much about the technical and the initial operation of the VoIP. The last category is the corporates, in his words these are the “big bosses” in the industry who design the rules of engagement.

However, like the Internet itself the VoIP has vulnerabilities. These include fraud and ‘denial of services’.Fundamental to this is the idea that both Service Providers and users must conform with legislations and support legal interception. Finally, what remain of greater value is that civil society and governments should push VoIP accessible and very affordable. Even tough people generally lack knowledge of the VoIP concept, Summa advice consumers to not only be offered the best efforts, but quality of service should be demanded.