New: March Intermedia now available  – see more



Share this

By Brian Williamson

Globally, next-generation communications apps such as Skype, iMessage, WeChat, Line, Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts (also referred to as over the top, OTT, apps) have taken off. These applications offer substantial benefits to consumers and businesses. They have, however, led to complaints by vertically integrated communications service providers that they ‘free ride’ on their network investments and benefit from the lack of a regulatory level playing field. This article considers these questions and what policymakers should do about legacy and next generation communications.


Should we be striving for the ‘level playing field’ with regulation of innovative, next-generation communications? Brian Williamson makes a strong case for setting them free.

Intermedia Issue:
Vol 44, Issue 3
Issue Date:
October 2016
Brian Williamson Brian Williamson Partner, Communications Chambers

Vol 44, Issue 3 Features

EDITORIAL 18.10.2016
Q&As with Takamiki Nishikawa, Juan Wilches and Syed Shah 18.10.2016
FREEDOM VS SECURITY 18.10.2016 Monroe E. Price
View All
Back to the top

The IIC is the world's only policy debating platform for the converged communications industry

We give innovators and regulators a forum in which to explore, debate and agree the best policies and regulatory frameworks for widest societal benefit.

Insight: Exchange: Influence

We give members a voice through conferences, symposiums and private meetings, as well as broad exposure of their differing viewpoints through articles, reports and interviews.

The new website will make it easier for you to gather fresh insights, exchange views with others and have a voice in the debate

Take a look Learn more about our updates
Please upgrade your browser

You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The International Institute of Communications website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:

Windows Mac

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.