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Communications Networking

Least-Cost Routing Threatens Rural Phone Call Completion 205

New submitter kybred writes "Rural landline users are increasingly having problems with incoming calls not completing or being dropped. The culprit may be the bargain long distance carriers penchant for 'least cost routing' combined with the conversion of the Universal Service Fund to the Connect America Fund. From the Fine Article: 'Rural phone companies are the victim here," Steve Head says. "They charge a higher rate to terminate calls as it costs more for them. Shoreham Tel gets beat up because everyone calls them and says something is wrong with your system, but it's not. We've been through all of their lines and equipment and there is nothing wrong with it; it's the least-cost routing carriers.'"
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Least-Cost Routing Threatens Rural Phone Call Completion

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  • by Herkum01 ( 592704 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:43PM (#42154807)

    I had to deal with this in our corporate PBX, we connect to a provider who does god-knows-what with the call. They do this least-cost routing, but when the call does not arrive it is on the customer to figure out WTF is going on. The provider saves .01 cents on your phone call and the customer pays for the call AND the support! What a way to run a business.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @01:20PM (#42155025)

    They expect to receive the service they paid for. Same as those living in the middle of a 5 mil+ city.

    If the company can't provide them with the service, they shouldn't have sold it. I doubt on their contract says anywhere that X% of the calls will be randomly dropped.

    I see one solution for them, for those companies I mean. Skype or something similar. Calls anywhere in the world for a flat fee. Bypass those "carriers" entirely.

  • by faedle ( 114018 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @01:30PM (#42155097) Homepage Journal

    That's the irony here. Least-cost routing is one "equal and opposite reaction" to the "sender pays" system and the way calls are billed at termination.

    Many of the rural exchange operators signed deals with carriers like Level3 who operated large dialup modem pools in rural exchanges near big cities are looking for ways to use that interconnect. It's really hard to feel "sorry" for these rural phone companies when they went out of their way to get this traffic in the first place 10-15 years ago, and now have these same carriers representing a significant chunk of their business instead of just 1-3%.

  • by TheRedSeven ( 1234758 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @01:51PM (#42155245) Homepage
    So if that provider is Verizon, and they save the .01 cents say, 100,000,000 times, that means they're saving about $1,000,000.00. Right [youtube.com]?
  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @02:42PM (#42155581) Homepage

    I'm not from your country. But in any case, fine, I'll subsidize phones if they subsidize the much higher rent and land prices

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @02:54PM (#42155663)

    How high are the termination fees? And who sets the fees?

    Just for comparison, effective today the new termination fees to landline numbers in Germany are between 0.25 and 0.61 euro cent. The fees are set by the federal network agency and of course with every fee reduction the carriers are bitching.

  • by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @07:33PM (#42157563)
    If you sign up with dodgy VoIP provider, you get dodgy service, no big surprise here. However at least in Europe you don't get situation when you have "normal" operators on both sides of the call, but calls still fail due to some low-cost middleman.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.