Have Our Cake and Eat It Too

Question: when I send a piece of e-mail to an African subscriber or view a Web page hosted out of Africa, who gets charged for the phone bill? Africa. Or, more specifically, African ISPs and their subscribers. This is because the Internet backbone providers in Western countries "ignore" International Telecommunications Union regulations which state that the cost to handle such a transaction must be split 50/50. Actually, they claim that the regulations do not apply because the telephone lines handle data and not voice phone calls. One wonders how they will continue to justify in the near future with the spreading popularity of VoIP, voice over data phone lines, services as detailed in this Time article.

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