January 11, 2010 5:24 PM
-- Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
I kicked off with that quote, and I want you to read it--and understand this--I respect authentic, original, people in the telecom business. They may not be the most likeable people in popular opinion polls, but they do want they do without regard to the opinions of others, and they almost always drive change (for better or for worse). Dave Erickson of FreeConferenceCalls.com ("FCC.com") is such an individual. And, as much as I might crack on "traffic pumpers", Dave has posted up on this blog--under his own name--without regard to what anyone thinks . . . and I like that. I mean, as traffic-pumpers go, he's "doing it right out front and nobody is going to have anything to get pissed off about." So, brother, if you're reading this, you need to know I've got nothing but mad respect for the way play your game--and that's no joke.
But (and you just knew there was a "but" coming), this is a story--contained in a court case--that I've never seen reported, and it's an enduring testament to Dave Erickson's stone cold, "bad-ass"-ness, but it's a story that readers have got to hear to believe. At this point, Dave will probably disagree with every characterization I make . . . but that's part of why I'm going to be what I am, and there's not going to be anything to apologize about.
OK, so on with the story. Let's say you think there's a good way around the FCC's Farmers and Merchants Order, where the Commission found in favor of Qwest in a complaint against a local exchange carrier ("LEC") that specific revenue-sharing contracts between the LEC and conference calling companies, did not constitute the provision of switched access services, where calls are terminated to an end-user premise, consistent with the LEC's tariff on file with the Commission. So, that order means nothing to you--maybe you've got some cool creative tariff attorney and some inventive new traffic pumping scheme. Fair enough; so far, so good, but here's the big question: if you're a free conference calling company, looking to set up shop in a high cost area with a cool, new tariff, or traffic-pumping plan, have you ever thought about how you'd actually do it?
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