I suspected battles with the CRTC (them not wanting to let anybody other than Bell "rule the world") was at the root of the problem, so I wrote to the CRTC regarding this issue and this is the response they sent to me. If this is truly the case, then it appears the hold-up is coming from within Skype. It would be nice to hear from personnel at Skype to get a sense of what is happening with regards to online numbers in Canada.
Dear Ms. T:
Thank you for taking the time to contact the CRTC regarding the availability of Skype in Canada.
The CRTC is not directly involved in regulating the services provided by Skype. Wireless, long distance and internet services are competitive services. These services are subject to very limited CRTC regulation. The Commission does not regulate their rates, quality or provision of service, or their business practices.
Skype is a software application that allows its users to make telephone calls over the Internet. Its users download its software and connect with other Skype users who have also downloaded its software for internet voice and video conversations. This "peer-to-peer" communication falls outside of the regulatory authority of the CRTC.
To the extent that Skype interconnects with the Public Switched Telephone Network in Canada – that is to say, it connects with other telephone numbers whose users have not downloaded the Skype software – Skype has certain obligations. Skype would be required to register with the CRTC; enter into a business relationship with a Canadian carrier to obtain interconnection to the Public Switched Telephone Network; and, as a matter of public safety, Skype would need to ensure that calls made to 911 are completed through 911 call centres, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). As in the case of numerous other competitive service providers in Canada, it is a business decision of Skype, if it chooses to meet these obligations and offer such a service in Canada.
Recently, certain smartphones have permitted Skype's software application to be downloaded to offer a wireless service in Wi-Fi hotspots. This is a matter of private contractual negotiation between Skype, the handset manufacturers and the wireless carriers providing the service.
For more information about the services offered by Skype, or its availability with your service provider, you should contact Skype and your service provider. If you make Skype aware of your desire for its services it may keep this in mind when it is assessing its business decisions as to the types of services it will make available.
CRTC Client Services
1-877-249-2782 /télécopieur/facsimile 819-994-0218
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Gouvernement du Canada / Government of Canada
08-10-2011 02:41 - edited 08-10-2011 02:49
It's been so many years (almost a decade) since I first inquired with Skype for a Canadian phone# that it doesn't even show here; surely Skype trashed my query years ago, though at the time they did reply with the same non-info as today, essentially "not available". I don't need 911, which wouldn't be terribly useful when dialed from overseas. I don't even need any facility for Skype outgoing calls. I only need a Canadian # for my Canadian customers to call that will ring wherever I am. Incoming only - "Skype-in". I fail to see the problem preventing Skype from making this available. Apparantly various other VOIP providers offer such. Why after all these years can't Skype?
Sigh. I am looking to avoid moble phone service rape. I contract with fido finishes in December. I'm DONE! No more of this bull**bleep**! My plan is to get a smartphone, use wi-fi exclusively, and E-mail instead of SMS. A HUGE part of my plan involves using an internet application such as Skype to make/receive calls from lan lines while I am in wi-fi range. This terrible news involving the CRTC, Rogers and Bell makes me want to vomit and kill things. In that order.
So terribly disatisfied...
20 cents per text to view E-mail as an SMS on your phone! rogers/bell have a monopoly on canadian numbers, so skype can't offer its "Online Number Service" here for $2.99/month! im raging. im raging so hard. if i can't find some other solution within two months im done with my cell phone. fido can shove it so far up their ass they'll be the ones with zero reception.