The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Our friends south of the border are telling the CRTC that in the Internet environment voice is just another application and should be treated with as little regulation as possible. But they are also saying that the commission needs to be more vigilant in facilitating access to ILEC unbundled loops and third party Internet access (TPIA) to cable modem services at reasonable rates.   They call this a layered approach to regulating VoIP, separating the network layers from the applications layers. While this may sound like a novel idea, it really isn’t. There are already rules in place on access to unbundled loops allowing for the resale of DSL. There are also rules governing TPIA for cable companies. The problem is that incumbent telcos and dominant cable companies are putting up roadblocks to last mile facilities access at reasonable rates. Cable companies routinely charge high-speed Internet subscribers an additional fee if they don’t subscribe to their TV services. Not to single out the cable companies, incumbent telcos have equally limited access to DSL. In the not-so-distant past, only those subscribers that have local telephone services could get DSL. If the commission wants to create a framework that will allow for the proliferation of VoIP by a variety of service providers, then it needs to make sure that the underlying access facilities required by the consumer to have VoIP are available to competitive providers. That means the commission must ensure that consumers can get access to high-speed services, either DSL or cable modem, without the hassle of requiring the purchase of a basic service. It would be hard to believe that even the CLECs would take issue with an environment guaranteeing greater last mile facilities access. With that in mind, it shouldn’t then make a difference whether one considers VoIP as functionally similar to traditional circuit-switched telephony or an application like email or instant messaging. If there is sufficient choice on the access side, whether that be from incumbents, competitors or resellers, then it should allow for the development of a healthy competitive VoIP services market.