Telmex / Prodigy blocks VOIP

They have finally done it. The ADSL monopoly company Prodigy (owned by the landline monopoly Telmex) here in Mexico have begun blocking VOIP services now. I have 2 Swedish VOIP accounts, both of which ceased to function as of today. Looking in the setup page for my PAP2, which handles both accounts, the equipment de-registers continually from the SIP servers. The system manages to register every 15 seconds, but just for a couple of seconds at a time. Talked with people that also have VOIP services, and they have the same problem.

Now, as they say – they are in their own right to block such services (they name VOIP specifically) that “compromise the quality” of the ADSL service. What does that mean, exactly? According to this, you can’t use the ADSL service for VPN:s either (another premium service from Telmex). Wouldn’t it be better to say in the user agreement that they can’t allow any competition, since Telmex themselves live off the phone conversations of other people and sell VPN services?

The biggest problem might not be the fact that they actually do this. The biggest problem is that there is no place to turn to. Mexican consumer advocate groups have no power basically, and Telmex have an excellent standing with the government, given that they have spent millions in restoring Mexico City’s old town, infrastructure projects, etc. So basically they can screw the consumer as long as they don’t screw the government. That sucks.

Now, Telmex/Prodigy are into starting to send TV through the Internet. They have already acquired the necessary licenses. Is their next step to make Youtube illegal? Will they slam down on anybody downloading movies / television content? I think Mr. Slim needs a better team of advisors regarding his IT strategies… Mr Carlos Slim already owns most of CompUSA (which is, as I heard, struggling), and of US Prodigy. He should sit down and see what he wants to do with the extreme power that comes with purveying 80% of all Internet infrastructure to Mexicans.

It has caused quite a bit of a stir at ALT1040 Mexico’s (?) most prominent tech blog. Read [here]

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