Southwestern Bell is the Evil Telco Of The Day

As many of you know, I have a long standing animosity towards telephone companies in general. I’ve never found much to reverse my opinion – most telcos are downright slimy, and will pull any number of fast ones on you.

SBC (Southwestern Bell), however, has hit a new high – er low – er something.

In Hindsville, AR (479-789), customers who want to access the internet via dialup have exactly zero local access numbers. Even though SBC has their own ISP, there is no number that is a local call. This is because the only place you can call from 479-789 that is local is – 479-789.

That’s right, every other number is EAC (extended area calling) – not inter-LATA, but intra-LATA – which means the phone company is justified in screwing you in any way they want. And, as it happens, how they want is with something called local+ – a extra $31.95 a month to be able to call Fayetteville – just 30 miles away.

So, if you want to have a ISP be a local call in Hindsville, you have to pay $31.95 a month. On top of whatever your ISP charges.

Isn’t capitolism grand?


One Response to “Southwestern Bell is the Evil Telco Of The Day”

  1. anonymous Says:

    A government-regulated monopoly, like most local exchange carriers, is as about as far from capitalism as you can get. Inter-state telephone charges are regulated by a state governmental agency usually known as the State Corporation Commission or the Public Utilities Commission.

    Capitalism is, however, a solution–there is nothing stopping anyone who has the financial werewithall from starting their own ISP with a 479-789 local number. Get a T1 from Fayetteville (say $1k/month), get an Ascend Max with a T1 PRI incoming (23 lines, say $400/month), for $1400 a month you can support at least 230 users, charge them $20 a month, that nets you $4600 a month and that’s BEFORE you make additional money renting dry pairs and putting in a DSLAM as well as providing wireless internet access.

    You can rent space for this equipment in the maintenance closet of a shopping center or an office building–it shouldn’t cost much. Perhaps free if you can arrange a trade of bandwidth for space. (Signed contracts would be best, obviously). Locate a space close to the CO to cut down on mileage charges.

    HNDVARMARS1 (the CLLI code for the Hindsville CO) has the following features, looks as though it is a digital switch:

    SV High cap mux terminus-DS1 to voice
    RO Voice grade data bridging-terminus
    RN Voice bridging-terminus
    QF Special access interconnect-virtual fibe
    PC Special access-price zone 3
    IH Make busy key
    IG Multiline hunt group-UCD line hunt
    IF Multiline hunt group-C.O. announcements
    IE Multiline hunt group-UCD
    ID Multiline hunt group-individual port acc
    IC Multiline hunt group
    IA Alternate routing
    HA Signal point
    DA Feature group D with 10XXX dialing
    BA Feature group B
    AA Feature group A

    I will agree with you that $30 a month for unlimited calling to a location 30 miles away is a rip. For $50 a month, you can get unlimited calling to anywhere in the country. Check out MCI’s “The Neighborhood”.

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