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The Telecom Digest for October 8, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 254 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Re: Curbside (but not subway) phones bought by Titan (Jimmy)
AT&T Telephone solicitor training (Gordon Burditt)
CenturyLink and Minnesota PUC fight over OSS (Bill Horne)
FCC Chairman announces reforms to USF (Bill Horne)
CTIA reacts to proposed USF changes (Bill Horne)

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Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 20:46:31 -0700 (PDT) From: Jimmy <JimmyGeldburg@mailinator.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Curbside (but not subway) phones bought by Titan Message-ID: <79c2ad56-d134-4fc4-b585-4160b92dabf5@i33g2000yqm.googlegroups.com> I recently noticed that there are no more Verizon curbside pay phones in NYC. Apparently an advertising company called Titan bought them a year ago, and took them over in the spring. This affected 30% of curbside phones -- the rest are owned by smaller companies. This does not affect phones on NYC Transit property (including street- level phones at subway entrances), nor phones in NYC parks. Those are still owned by Verizon. For several years, I've heard a lot of complaints that most curbside pay phones were missing or broken, since they only make money from the advertising they display. But I hardly ever had trouble using a Verizon phone, and when I did, it was easy to get a refund. However, when I tried to use a Titan phone, the quarter got stuck in the slot, and when I called 211 for a refund as listed on the instructions, it rang forever. I looked around for another phone, and more than half of the Titan phones in the neighborhood were missing, or had stickers that said "NO DIAL TONE" and had major damage. Here are some pictures taken by other people: http://www.payphone-project.com/news/archives/2011/06/titan360_paypho.html http://beehivehairdresser.com/2011/09/04/the-broken-art-of-pay-phones/ The city clearly isn't doing their job enforcing the regulations that require most phones to be working. While pay phones obviously aren't as important as they once were, they still get used reasonably often in NYC. And they're especially important in emergencies, when cell phone networks don't work or don't have enough capacity. Here's a picture of a crowd waiting to use a pay phone during the 2003 blackout: http://www.payphone-project.com/news/archives/payphone.blackout_030814.jpg Jimmy
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2011 02:10:18 -0500 From: gordonb.zh5qu@burditt.org (Gordon Burditt) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: AT&T Telephone solicitor training Message-ID: <cKCdnVtZXs5HOBPTnZ2dnUVZ_h6dnZ2d@posted.internetamerica> > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > [snip] > I'm not sure it's a matter of poor training, though: I suspect that > CSR's are being taught that customers are sheep who'll believe > anything they're told, and that they should lie like the devil to bump > their sales. It's the wrong kind of training, but I've seen and > heard too many stories like yours to believe that it's not > intentional. I've been getting calls recently from AT&T telephone solicitors trying to sell me Uverse Internet service in Texas (used to be Southwestern Bell here). I might be interested, depending on the terms. There are a couple of things I want to make sure of first. 1. Show me in writing where it says I can run a mail server without violating AT&T's Terms of Service. 2. How much do I have to pay for the service, before and after the promotional period runs out? 3. It has to be a better deal than what I've got now. I've gotten some astounding statements from them: 1. It is illegal for AT&T sales reps to discuss sales tax. When I called them on this one, they said it was company policy (because they get it wrong so often, and that I'll believe), and proceeded to tell me why there is no difference between AT&T company policy and a law. Unfortunately, I think AT&T management really believes this. Does AT&T think they have the death penalty? 2. AT&T will not shut off my account if I use it to threaten the life of the President of the United States. I asked about this hoping they would point me to the Terms of Service on their web site, and find the stuff about servers right next to it. I eventually found the part that says they WILL shut off my account if I use it for illegal purposes, which certainly includes threatening the President, with no help from the telephone solicitors who denied such a document exists. 3. 6 Megabit DSL is too slow to run a mail server. Funny, they didn't say anything about the upload speed here. If they thought I meant the Yahoo or Google mail server, they're right, but I'm talking about something smaller than a small 3-person office mail server receiving a moderate amount of spam. A 64k ISDN line should be plenty for just mail. It's also odd that it's working well now, on 1.5 megabit DSL, using another ISP and DSL supplied by, surprise, *AT&T*. Also, one telephone solicitor believed that attempting to run something over a DSL link that is too slow "voids the modem and damages the warranty". Yes, he said it that way twice. Way long time ago (late 1980's), it was possible to run a mail *and news* server using 1200 bps modems and dialup lines and an 8MHz 68000 processor. Granted, the news traffic load was a lot lower then. At one point we even had TCP/IP set up over it, not just UUCP. 4. Their DSL comes with a comprehensive security package and virus protection. In spite of the fact that I had to tell them at least 3 times how to pronounce "FreeBSD", they insisted that it would run on FreeBSD. I suppose they will tell me it runs on Eniac or Arduino next. 5. The sales rep couldn't think of any tax on my *local phone bill* besides sales tax and long distance calls. There is no 911 fee on my internet service but he finally admitted that there is a $1 a month 914 fee. What's a 914 fee? I don't know, but I kept incrementing the number each call after they denied the existence of the fee for the next question. 6. My current DSL (despite repeated warnings from me that I did NOT have cable) operates over lines shared with my neighbors. Well, if they were referring to the Internet "backbone", they're right, but it was obvious they were confusing existing DSL with cable. 7. No, we won't tell you the full terms of the deal until you sign up for it. The deal was stated as $19.95/month for 12 months. Oh, yes, there's also $100 for a modem. And a $150 contract termination fee. And the regular price is $38.95/month (This is a deal-breaker, and I suspect the bill will be more like $60/month including all the taxes and fees). And no, if I don't like the deal after it's connected up, they won't pay to get back my current connection. 8. You are/were advised to get the deal in writing and get the full terms of the deal before signing by, *SURPRISE*, an AT&T commercial (about 1992, referring to alternative long-distance carriers). The current crowd of AT&T telephone solicitors, according to one, is unable to send out any type of paper, not even toilet paper. And apparently they don't have access to email or fax, either. And they can't give out a URL more specific than "on our web site" for the Terms of Service (there are multiple sets for different services). 9. My current ISP charges $0.41/month in sales tax. Why do you charge almost 4 times that for the promotional $19.95/month rate? They had no answer. (The first $25/month in internet service is not subject to sales tax in Texas. But I'm not so sure the phone company would classify it that way, or that they've ever heard of this law.) ***** Moderator's Note ***** I invited AT&T to comment on this article, but there has been no reply as of one hour beyond the publication deadline I gave. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 16:41:35 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: CenturyLink and Minnesota PUC fight over OSS Message-ID: <20111007204134.GA4458@telecom.csail.mit.edu> I came across this at a website for the Minnesota PUC headlined "Decisions - August 11, 2011". **11 P5340,5643,5323, 5981,438,465, 5986,421/C-11-684 Joint CLECs; Qwest; CenturyLink Qwest/CenturyLink to stop implementing new OSS, explain problems with current OSS, involve CLECs in future development. In the Matter of the Complaint by Joint CLECs against Qwest and CenturyLink Regarding OSS Implementation. Does the Commission have jurisdiction over the matter and are there grounds for further investigation of the allegations? (PUC: Briefing Papers - O'Grady, Fournier) In a Staff Briefing Paper prepared by Kevin O.Grady and Marc Fournier, the dispute is summarized this way: On June 28, 2011, several Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), referred to herein as the Joint CLECs, filed a complaint against Qwest and CenturyLink, referred to herein as the Joint Applicants, alleging that the Joint Applicants have: (i) violated the terms of the Commission Order approving the Qwest-CenturyLink merger (Docket 10-456; March 31, 2011); (ii) breached settlement agreements between the Joint CLECs and the Joint Applicants; (iii) violated interconnection agreements between the Joint CLECs and the Joint Applicants; and (iv) breached their duty of non-discrimination pursuant to Minnesota Statutes and the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. Rest at: https://www.edockets.state.mn.us/EFiling/edockets/searchDocuments.do?method=showPoup&documentId={E4091A8E-A4B1-499D-94E0-7B16FC12D66D}&documentTitle=20118-65056-01 Here's my question: the way I read this, the CLECs have complained that Qwest/CenturyLink is ignoring a previous commitment to keep the old OSS systems available for more than two years. Is Qwest/CenturyLink trying to change the deal, or are the changes between the "old" and "new" systems just cosmetic? Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 17:14:21 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: FCC Chairman announces reforms to USF Message-ID: <20111007211421.GA9122@telecom.csail.mit.edu> FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski delivered remarks on proposed reforms to the Universal Service Fund (USF) and Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) system. Modernizing USF and ICC is critical to connecting rural consumers to 21st century broadband and mobility, and was a central recommendation of the FCC.s National Broadband Plan. Rest at: http://www.fcc.gov/events/chairman-genachowski-speech-usf-and-icc-reform Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 17:26:01 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: CTIA reacts to proposed USF changes Message-ID: <20111007212601.GA9304@telecom.csail.mit.edu> WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski delivered a speech today announcing proposed reforms of the Universal Service Fund and the Intercarrier Compensation System, CTIA-The Wireless Association~ President and CEO Steve Largent released the following statement: "CTIA strongly agrees that comprehensive reform of the federal Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation System is necessary in order to ensure these government programs meet the changing needs of U.S. consumers. We are pleased Chairman Genachowski has acknowledged the Universal Service Fund must take into account the rapid consumer adoption of wireless services, and we look forward to learning more about his proposals for a dedicated, robust Mobility Fund." Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/10/06/3490737/ctia-the-wireless-association.html#ixzz1a8KqsWsJ -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)
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