Since most consumers now have phone service with unlimited long distance or large monthly chunks of minutes, the calls are supercheap -- or effectively free -- for the user, while AT&T and the other long-distance carriers have to shoulder the charges imposed by the local exchanges. Thus, while lawmakers, AT&T, and editorial page might pontificate about how this is all about rural phone customers, or fairness, in reality this is about sex and money -- and everyone knows it, including AT&T, which has long griped about the situation.
What these newlocal phone exchanges quickly discovered is that they could make a gobs of money by partnering with phone sex and adult chat companies to route the numbers through rural exchanges -- a practice known as "traffic pumping." The local exchanges then turn around and charge AT&Tmany of which are actually forwarded to sex call centers in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
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Bumble was born out of a desire to reinvent the antiquated rules of dating.
"We are formally requesting an investigation by the FCC into the nature and function of Google Inc.'s voice service," the lawmakers wrote in their Oct. "A company should not be able to evade compliance with important principles of access and competition set forth by the FCC by simply self-declaring it is not subject to them without further investigation." Set aside for the moment the fact that most of these lawmakers have received over their careers hundreds of thousands of dollars from AT&T and Verizon (VZ) in campaign and PAC donations.
Set aside the fact that the local exchanges, many of which are in their districts, benefit most from this gaming of the intercarrier payment system.