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RE: New N.Y. Law Targets Hidden Net LD Tolls

  • From: Brian Johnson
  • Date: Thu Aug 18 09:05:30 2005


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On 
> Behalf Of Robert Bonomi
> Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:43 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: New N.Y. Law Targets Hidden Net LD Tolls
> > From  Thu Aug 18 01:47:56 2005
> > Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 02:44:59 -0400
> > From: "Eric A. Hall" <>
> > Cc:
> > Subject: Re: New N.Y. Law Targets Hidden Net LD Tolls
> >
> >
> >
> > On 8/17/2005 10:04 PM, Fergie (Paul Ferguson) wrote:
> >
> > > A new law that's apparently the first in the nation threatens to
> > > penalize Internet service providers that fail to warn 
> users that some
> > > dial-up numbers can ring up enormous long-distance phone 
> bills even
> > > though they appear local.
> >
> > aka, make ISPs liable for other people's fraud. What's the 
> thinking here,
> > anybody know?
> *NOT* "other people's fraud".  Just when you have 
> 'intra-LATA' toll charges
> for some numbers within a single area-code.  If the user is 
> on one side of
> the area-code, and the provider's POP is on the far side of 
> it, you can have
> a what appears to be a 'local' number, that does incur 
> non-trivial per-minute
> charges.  Without knowing _where_ a particular prefix is, you 
> can't tell 
> whether there will be toll charges for that call, or not, 
> from any given
> call origin.

Pardon my ignorance, but don't most phone companies require 10 digit dialing
for long-distance. We have similar situations in the rural area I live in,
but the customers know if they dial more than 7 digits, it WILL be long

> Of course, this is true for *every* call in such an area -- 
> if the new law
> is actually singling out ISPs (and ISPs -only-), I expect it could be
> successfully challenged as 'discriminatory'.   

Agreed. It's silly to single out ISPs on this one.

> The excessive 'local toll charge' situation is most visible 
> on calls to ISPs,
> because those calls tend to be somewhat lengthy -- and 
> frequent -- thus, the
> 'unexpected' charges can reach significant dollar value 
> before the phone
> customer gets their first bill.

Agreed, but is this really the ISPs fault, or is it the customer's fault.

> Life gets _really_ messy, when the ISP gets phone service 
> from a CLEC, 
> because there is "no telling" _where_ the ILEC uses as the 
> 'rate point'
> for handing the calls off to that CLEC.  And the CLEC bills 
> their customers
> based on distance from the caller's location to that hand-off 
> point.  The
> ISP equipment may be across the street from the caller, but 
> hand-off is on the far edge of the area-code.  and the 'local 
> toll charges'
> are applied.
> The CLEC can't tell you (and thus, neither can the ISP) which 
> prefixes are a 
> 'non-toll' call to their numbeers.  And trying to get an 
> authoritative answer
> from the ILEC about what charges are to the CLEC's prefix can 
> be _very_ 
> difficult.

I have never come across this, but it may be more of a metro area thing. :-)

I think in the end this is a typical government attempt to solve a
non-problem. They can easily do public service announcements to inform their
constituents, or ask the phone companies to deal with it as it really is a
problem for them. It is a charge on the hone bill, right. :-)

- Brian J.

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