The moon sat loftily in the night’s sky as the nervous CIO sat at his desk, sweat dripping from his forehead onto the desk in front of him, ruining the ink on the pages and letters that lay strewn about him. He looked from one to the other. “Final Notice”, “Court Order”, something in a different language with similarly intimidating, bold writing.
We expanded too fast, he thought to himself. We didn’t look into the regulations. What have we done?
A knock at the door…
Okay, maybe that’s a tad dramatic. But at the end of the day, the regulations boogeyman is the last person you want knocking at your door when you’re trying to expand your business.
So what are the horror stories around communication regulation that should keep up the unassuming CIO at night? Let’s go through a few:
Hoards Of Regulatory Bodies
When you get a chance, have a quick google of the list of regulatory bodies governing communication there are around the globe.
There are a lot. And each has its own set of regulatory standards that need to be met before you can even consider making a call, or risk getting your numbers turned off or even breaking the law.
In Portugal and Austria, you need to provide an invoice for a telephone or internet connection with a fixed IP address at an address in the area you want a phone number for. (I know, it took me 3 reads to digest that one too.)
On top of all these weird and wonderful rules, contracts and regulations are written in many different languages as you can imagine. If you’re not fluent, you’re going to want to have it professionally translated by a lawyer who is. Which takes time and costs money. Basically, it’s a nightmare.
GDPR: The Silent Killer
For those of you that have been living on the surface of Mars for the last four years, GDPR has changed the way companies have to handle customer data. That includes all the call data generated when calling your customers or when they call you.
And if you don’t keep on top of the regulations surrounding this data, you’re going to find yourself in deep doo-doo. The biggest fine to date reached £183 million. Now that’s something that would keep you and your CFO up at night.
Calling emergency services is something we take for granted. And not complying with one particular regulation in the US isn’t just an issue for your comms provider, It’s a matter of life and death for the people using their cloud comms.
The tragedy that prompted the regulation is the story of the then 9-year-old daughter of Kari Hunt who tried repeatedly to dial 911 as her father murdered her mother.
Because the hotel they had been staying at deployed a multiline telephone system (MLTS) that required she press ‘9’ to dial out, her calls for help were never answered.
Congress passed Kari’s Law Act of 2017, which was signed into law in 2018 and came into effect this year.
Kari’s Law states that all phone systems must be able to connect to a 911 operator without having to press an additional number or enter a code.
This applies to manufacturers and businesses that install, manage or operate multi-line telephone systems. Any business found to be non-compliant can face fines of up to $10,000.
Legal Team Terror
Ever hired a lawyer? They’re expensive. Ever hired a team of lawyers? They’re very expensive.
If you’re undeterred by the stories so far, maybe the cost of a team of lawyers will have you shaking in your boots. Because that’s what you’ll need if you want to deal with the international, national, and local legalese that comes with setting up comms infrastructure all over the world.
Even if your plan is just to go with a bunch of carriers you’re going to find yourself buried in a stack of contracts before you can say “toll-free”.
Interested in Compliance?
Sign up for our first “Coffee And Compliance” Webinar
Where Does Voxbone Come In?
You see the terrifying stories laid out before you. But what’s the solution? Drink less coffee? Eat less cheese?
Well, here comes the shameless plug. At Voxbone, we like to help. So as part of our wonderful service, we give you the means to ensure you’re compliant by providing:
- Info on the regulatory environment and notices of changes
- Tools to streamline the task of ensuring compliance, e.g. APIs for address registration, number porting, etc
- Compliant services in every market so you don’t need to worry about the supply chain for your comms being shut down
No more nightmares.