29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for March 20, 2011
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Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 15:32:39 -0500 From: John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Traveler hit with huge data roaming charges Message-ID: <AANLkTi=7r49qKOSipNOyFZD6dDsnN5dn0j-NhY95firstname.lastname@example.org> On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 11:43 PM, David Clayton <email@example.com> wrote: > > And it may not just "overseas", here in Australia some 3G networks only > really cover the capital cities and major population areas, but they have > roaming agreements with other carriers that do cover other areas - but at > a cost! That's an issue in front of the FCC in the US right now. http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/data-roaming-battle-heats-ahead-fccs-april-meeting/2011-03-17 -- John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 15:43:38 -0500 From: John Mayson <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Annoyance Calls Message-ID: <AANLkTi=pKPLhSsyqO-1-iM+kqhm4sbbutHZquyHBCOFN@mail.gmail.com> Speaking of annoyance calls. How do the "robodialers" that telemarketers use work? Specifically how do they handle out-of-service numbers? I thought that if an automated dialer hit an out-of-service number enough times it was dropped from the table. What got me thinking about this was I logged into my Google Voice account this morning. About two years ago I agreed to a free 30-day subscription to a business newspaper. I gave them my Google Voice number which gave them the right to call me. What happened was I never received the free trial, but they started calling asking me to sign up for a paid subscription. I asked that they stop calling, but they didn't. I was new to Google Voice at the time, so it took me a couple of weeks to figure out I could block them. I did. Here we are two years later and they are STILL calling me. What I'm guessing is Google Voice tells them in a computer generated voice the number is not in service. However no signaling information is going back to them indicating the same. So the automated dialer just thinks someone answered and the number is good, so I stay in their table. It'd be no different than if I answered the phone and said, "This number is no longer in service" and hung up. And I'm also guessing there's nothing in the software (or if there is, it's being ignored) telling them that despite calling me every single weekday for the last two years I've never subscribed so perhaps there's a problem. At this point I'm really curious how long this is going to go on. :-) John -- John Mayson <email@example.com> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 12:15:57 -0700 From: Steven <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Annoyance Calls Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On 3/18/11 1:43 PM, John Mayson wrote: > Speaking of annoyance calls. How do the "robodialers" that > telemarketers use work? Specifically how do they handle > out-of-service numbers? I thought that if an automated dialer hit an > out-of-service number enough times it was dropped from the table. > > What got me thinking about this was I logged into my Google Voice > account this morning. About two years ago I agreed to a free 30-day > subscription to a business newspaper. I gave them my Google Voice > number which gave them the right to call me. What happened was I > never received the free trial, but they started calling asking me to > sign up for a paid subscription. I asked that they stop calling, but > they didn't. I was new to Google Voice at the time, so it took me a > couple of weeks to figure out I could block them. I did. > > Here we are two years later and they are STILL calling me. What I'm > guessing is Google Voice tells them in a computer generated voice the > number is not in service. However no signaling information is going > back to them indicating the same. So the automated dialer just thinks > someone answered and the number is good, so I stay in their table. > It'd be no different than if I answered the phone and said, "This > number is no longer in service" and hung up. And I'm also guessing > there's nothing in the software (or if there is, it's being ignored) > telling them that despite calling me every single weekday for the last > two years I've never subscribed so perhaps there's a problem. > > At this point I'm really curious how long this is going to go on. :-) > > John > It will go on until you tell them that the next time they call you, they get nuked. I had an insurance company calling me, the FTC was useless, but the State Insurance Commission got their attention, find there corporate number and call it.
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 14:34:41 -0700 (PDT) From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: AZ, MN, WA, FCC Approved CenturyLink/Qwest Merger; OR Still Needs to Approve Message-ID: <email@example.com> Since my previous Wednesday 05-January-2011 posting to Telecom Digest on this issue, three of the last four states needed to approve of the pending CenturyLink/Qwest merger (actually the CenturyLink takeover of Qwest) have since approved, all during this current month of March 2011. And the FCC has approved of the merger/takeover today (Friday). On Tuesday 01-March-2011, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved, the five-member board voted unanimously. On Thursday 03-March-2011, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved, the five-member board voted 3-2 for approval. On Monday 14-March-2011, the Washington (State) Utilities and Transportation Commission approved, the three-member board voted unanimously. And today, Friday 18-March-2011, the FCC has also approved. HOWEVER, to date, the only state which still needs to approve and hasn't yet approved so far is the Oregon Public Utilities Commission. Hopefully, there will be an announcement from them early next week. It is a bit unusual that the FCC gave its approval before all of the states which need to approve have done so... but I do wonder if the FCC might have advanced information that the OR-PUC is going to announce its approval early next week? Both CenturyLink and Qwest hope to have the merger complete/official as of Friday 01-April-2011. This merger was originally announced almost a year ago, in the second half of April 2010. In addition to all of the other states (other than Oregon so far) and the FCC approvals, other federal agencies approved of the merger or takeover last year (SEC, DOJ/FTC/IRS Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, etc), and the shareholders of both Qwest and CenturyLink have also approved. My understanding is that the legacy Qwest/US-West/Mountain Bell, Northwestern Bell, Pacific Northwest Bell areas will continue to be treated as "BOCs" by state and federal regulators, while the legacy CenturyLink (both CenturyTel and Embarq/Sprint/United-and-Centel) exchanges will be treated by regulatory as "independent". Note that CenturyLink does have some territory in Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State that USED to be US-West prior to the mid/late 1990s. During the 1990s, US-West (and Qwest in 2000/01 after they acquired US-West) sold off over 500 exchanges in rural areas and small towns to independent telcos. All 14-states of US-West had exchange areas sold off to independents. PTI, Pacific Telecom Inc, purchased most of the sold-off US-West/Northwestern Bell exchanges in Minnesota, most of the sold-off US-West/Mountain Bell exchanges in Colorado, and most of the sold-off US-West/Pacific Northwest Bell exchanges in Oregon and Washington state, in the mid-1990s-era. In 1997/98, CenturyTel purchased ALL of PTI's operations (except for Alaska) and consolidated them into CenturyTel's operations. But I don't seem to think that these US-West exchanges that were sold off to PTI in the mid-1990s which have been subsequently acquired by CenturyTel are still treated by regulatory as "legacy BOCs". Similarly, the legacy NET&T areas in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont that were sold off by VeriZon to FairPoint in 2007/08 are also still considered "BOCs" by state and federal regulators, while the legacy Contel areas in ME/NH/VT that GTE sold off in 1995 (not long after GTE acquired Contel in 1990/91), sold off to legacy independent telcos in those upper New England states (mostly acquired by Northland Tel) and which formed the beginnings of FairPoint in circa 2000 are treated as "independent" areas by state/federal regulators. And the legacy BOC C&P-West Virginia exchanges (including Crows-Hematite VA) which were sold by VeriZon to Frontier in 2009/10 are still considered "BOC" areas by the regulators, while the legacy GTE and Contel areas in WV that GTE sold off in the early 1990s (and GTE sold off both recently acquired Contel AND long-time GTE in WV) to Citizens (now Frontier), as well as the one-time Alltel areas in WV that Citizens (now Frontier) acquired in the mid-1990s, are all treated as "independent" areas by regulatory. CenturyTel has also acquired other one-time BOC exchanges here and there. About 20 Wisconsin Bell exchanges were sold by Ameritech in 1998 to CenturyTel, and the once-BellSouth/Southern Bell towns of Milton and Gatewood in North Carolina have since become part of CenturyTel after BellSouth sold them off to Madison River Tel/Mebtel in 2005. I seem to think that all of these areas are now treated by regulatory as "independent" telco exchanges. Anyhow, it's now the OR-PUC which still needs to approve of the pending merger/takeover, which both CenturyLink and Qwest hope to have finalized by Friday 01-April-2011. Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 01:30:48 -0400 From: "Bob Goudreau" <BobGoudreau@nc.rr.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Buying prepaid SIM cards in advance Message-ID: <BEF2F6797CD24267BEB558E5A40D4194@meng.lab.emc.com> Joseph Singer wrote: > Getting the card locally is DM19.90. Vodafone packet is $49 > from Telestial and DM19.95 in Germany. I suspect those prices are supposed to be in euros, not in (defunct) Deutsche Marks. Bob Goudreau Cary, NC ***** Moderator's Note ***** My fault: the original post had UTF-8 symbols in it, and I had to guess at their meaning. If you are contributing to the Digest, please remember that the Digest's "official" character set is ISO-8859-1. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 16:01:25 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Don't Call Me, I Won't Call You Message-ID: <email@example.com> Don't Call Me, I Won't Call You By PAMELA PAUL March 18, 2011 NOBODY calls me anymore - and that's just fine. With the exception of immediate family members, who mostly phone to discuss medical symptoms and arrange child care, and the Roundabout Theater fund-raising team, which takes a diabolical delight in phoning me every few weeks at precisely the moment I am tucking in my children, people just don't call. It's at the point where when the phone does ring - and it's not my mom, dad, husband or baby sitter - my first thought is: "What's happened? What's wrong?" My second thought is: "Isn't it weird to just call like that? Out of the blue? With no e-mailed warning?" I don't think it's just me. Sure, teenagers gave up the phone call eons ago. But I'm a long way away from my teenage years, back when the key rite of passage was getting a phone in your bedroom or (cue Molly Ringwald gasp) a line of your own. In the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone - land line, mobile, voice mail and all. According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/fashion/20Cultural.html
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