Skype is a closed calling network that refuses peering

Open Letter by Michael Robertson, the founder of SipPhone/GizmoProject to Skype.

For more context, see the original explanation at VOIP Watch.

Michael Robertson:

I recently saw your letter to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin demanding that wireless companies open their networks. While I concur this would be beneficial for consumers, Skype’s actions do not mirror their words to the commission which diminishes credibility for Skype to demand openness.

I am CEO of Gizmo5, a standards based VOIP and IM network. We invite other networks to connect to our users and currently route calls to and from more than 500 networks big and small on the Internet. We cannot route calls to Skype users in spite of the fact that consumers would like to do this because Skype has a closed network.

The wireless companies you chastise in your letter to commissioner Martin allow me to send and receive calls to the networks they operate but Skype does not. Skype operates the largest closed calling network on the planet. We have requested peering information from Skype in the past on multiple occasions and our requests have been ignored. Skype continues to deny Gizmo5 and others in the internet calling world the information and access to allow calls to flow to and from your network.

It appears that when it is convenient for Skype’s business objectives Skype waves the flag of openness, at the same time conveniently ignoring competitors requests for openness. It is disingenuous for Skype to demand mobile operators open their networks so that Skype can infiltrate their systems with their proprietary, closed calling scheme which locks out all others.

If Skype truly believes there should be open competition then they should start by enabling other networks such as Gizmo5 to call Skype users in an official and supported capacity. Until you remove the padlock from your own front door you would seem to have no right to demand that others adopt an open door strategy.

I’m open to discuss and implement an open peering relationship which will demonstrates Skype true commitment to open networks and make your actions match your words. Contact me anytime at [email protected]

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