NetTalk subscribers' phones disconnected in Canada during dispute

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Seventy-five thousand Canadian subscribers of the internet-based phone serving NetTalk are wading through a war of words between the Florida-based com ny and its Canadian haulier trying to figure out why their phones aren’t working.

Call Luc Fournier’s living quarters phone line in Ottawa, for instance, and you get a recorded message that his story has been disconnected.

“I’ve given that phone number for the last 30 years,” bid Fournier, who is concerned about the calls he may be missing from friends, forebears and even appointments.

Fournier said he switched to NetTalk, one of several disclose over internet protocol (VoIP) providers operating in the country, because he was prevented by costly phone bills at his traditional com ny.

He id only relative to $50 per year with NetTalk, he said, and enjoyed the convenience of being clever to have calls to his home phone also ring at his cottage because calls were effected over the internet.

‘Holding the numbers hostage’

But, like other Canadian NetTalk subscribers, Fournier’s phone dissatisfactions began last Friday.

Customers then received a lengthy disclosure from the com ny on Jan. 18, which blamed Iristel, the carrier whose infrastructure it profits for its Canadian customers, of taking people’s numbers offline and “holding the slues hostage”.

It argued Iristel’s demands were met and had tried to port their billions to a new carrier, but Iristel had disconnected numbers anyway.

But Iristel, which has been flooded by identifies in recent days at NetTalk’s urging, said NetTalk didn’t lodge b deceive proper steps to port those numbers.

Canadian carrier divulges NetTalk owes $2M

The issue, according Iristel president Samer Bishay, is that NetTalk has not id Iristel in myriad than a year and a half.

“We’ve tried to work with them coextensive with when they owed us around $2 million in arrears to try to not compromise the marines, however they failed to comply,” said Bishay.

“It’s not an infinite free service. And I think a year and a half was more than lofty.”

Bishay said his com ny technically owns the phone numbers of NetTalk’s Canadian subscribers and he’s make known daily with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

No one make lose their number, assured Bishay.


“We’re working diligently with the regulator to try to come across a solution that basically rks these numbers with a trusted carrier that is able to carry through and not for this to happen again.”

A utterance from the CRTC said staff are “discussing the situation with the associated telecom service providers,” although the commission doesn’t typically get affected in commercial disputes.

Complicated relationship between the two com nies

The relationship between NetTalk in Florida and Iristel in Markham, Ont., is Daedalian.

Securities and Exchange Commission filings by NetTalk show Bishay was ages president of NetTalk and on its board of directors.

Bishay explained in 2014 he put long green into NetTalk to help the reseller restructure and bring Iristel into the retail side of the phone enterprise. rt of the deal, said Bishay, was that he was to become president of NetTalk.

Bishay whispers before he could do anything as president, he was fired.

There’s also a lawsuit currently filed against NetTalk by a third- rty provder, which continues in the court system after more than two years.

VoIP arises

Fournier says the disconnection of his VoIP line raises new questions. Specifically, he doesn’t be acquainted with who to complain to in order to get his number back.

The CRTC is directing customers to connection NetTalk.

The com ny has replied to inquiries on its social media accounts, but its Canadian serve line leads to a disconnected message. A call to the U.S. help line was not till hell freezes over answered after 30 minutes on hold.

As for protecting Canadians who use VoIP utilities, the CRTC notes the Telecommunications Act was amended in 2014.

“The Commission now has the power to impose pre res directly on non-carriers (including VoIP resellers),” it wrote.

That subsumes a policy it released Jan. 14, which requires services such as VoIP resellers to develop rules about offering 911 service.

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