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Microsoft's Skype-to-phone calling service is now registered as a telecom service in the Netherlands

Microsoft's Skype service for calling landlines and mobile phones officially has been designated as a telecom service in the Netherlands and is required to meet the same obligations as other telco services.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft's Skype service for calling landlines and mobile numbers with a computer from Skype is now officially considered a telecom service covered by telecom laws in the Netherlands. The move comes after a European Court ruled in early June on a case between Skype and the Belgian telecom regulator BIPT. 

In the Netherlands, telecom providers are required to register with the ACM (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets) if they offer a service for calling fixed and mobile numbers using voice over IP (VOIP).

The original case which kicked off this decision began in 2016 when the BIPT imposed a fine of 220,000 euros on Skype Communications, as noted by tweakers.net. Microsoft said that conversations with SkypeOut (the name of that Skype service there) go through telecom and internet providers, but the judges disagreed, saying because SkypeOut users pay for call connections, they fall under the EU telecom directive.

Now that SkypeOut officially is considered a telecom service, it is under obligation to report data breaches, making the service interceptable and ensuring the 112 emergency number is always available, tweakers.net noted.

I've asked Microsoft if there any additional implications of the Dutch ruling about SkypeOut, in terms of any planned changes in the service. I also asked if there are other regions where Skype's phone-calling service may be designated as a telecommunications service. No word back so far. 

(Thanks to BartW, @b4rtw on Twitter, for the link to today's Skype news.)

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