Vonage local calling areas

Vonage local calling areas

Post by David Leshe » Sun, 04 May 2003 22:23:24



So I got curious & looked at Vonage.

Trouble is, it offers a much smaller local calling area than Verizontal!

The (Verizontal) DC Metro calling area covers all of 202, much of
301/240 and much of 703. Yet Vonage does not consider 301/240 local
to 202 and vice versa. Sure, you could pay more for an additional
DN....but why?

Wonder how incoming calls are handled? I.e. is the Vontage 301
DN a local call from 703 as handled by VZ?

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by John R. Levi » Mon, 05 May 2003 16:09:28


Quote:>So I got curious & looked at Vonage.

>Trouble is, it offers a much smaller local calling area than Verizontal!

Yeah, their "local" calling areas are peculiar.  Most are larger than
the regular telco's, some much larger (the whole S.F. bay area), but
some are tiny (the 213 area code in Los Angeles.)

Quote:>Wonder how incoming calls are handled? I.e. is the Vontage 301
>DN a local call from 703 as handled by VZ?

You pick the rate center in which you want a number, and ILEC calls to
it are billed the same as any other number in the rate center.  They
have 301 numbers in Gaithersburg, and Washington zones 3 and 4.  

I have a number in 607-330 which is in the Ithaca NY rate center, even
though the switch is 75 miles away in Syracuse, and it's a local call
from the same places that can make local calls to any other Ithaca
numbers.

--
John R. Levine, IECC, POB 727, Trumansburg NY 14886 +1 607 330 5711

Member, Provisional board, Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by David Leshe » Mon, 05 May 2003 22:32:12



Quote:>>Trouble is, it offers a much smaller local calling area than Verizontal!
>Yeah, their "local" calling areas are peculiar.  Most are larger than
>the regular telco's, some much larger (the whole S.F. bay area), but
>some are tiny (the 213 area code in Los Angeles.)

And borken... 240 is the 301 overlay; yet they are announcing different
calling areas for the two. This promotes confusion in the customer base
who has learned that they are equal.

Quote:>I have a number in 607-330 which is in the Ithaca NY rate center, even
>though the switch is 75 miles away in Syracuse, and it's a local call
>from the same places that can make local calls to any other Ithaca
>numbers.

Re: calling areas, it looks like the real winners are folks not in
an ILEC's large local calling areas, but on the fringes or in the
boonies yet still having broadband.

One of my concerns is how long will it be before the hotels start
blocking Vonage from their room feeds?

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by danny burstei » Mon, 05 May 2003 22:41:34



[ snip ]

Quote:>One of my concerns is how long will it be before the hotels start
>blocking Vonage from their room feeds?

Did you catch that the ILECs are trying to get Vonage to cough up all
those extra charges the telcos love so much? Kind of like telling someone
choosing to ride a bicycle instead of taking a car that they should still
kick in the cash to the highway trust fund to compensate for the gasoline
taxes they're not paying...

--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key

[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by John R. Levi » Tue, 06 May 2003 04:19:34


Quote:> Did you catch that the ILECs are trying to get Vonage to cough up
> all those extra charges the telcos love so much? Kind of like
> telling someone choosing to ride a bicycle instead of taking a car
> that they should still kick in the cash to the highway trust fund to
> compensate for the gasoline taxes they're not paying...

I have some sympathy for the ILECs' position here.  Vonage gives you a
real phone number which works just like an ILEC number (indeed it can
often be a ported ILEC number) so why shouldn't you pay similar taxes
on similar service?  Yeah, the insides are different, but that's not
apparent when you pick up the phone.

--
John R. Levine, IECC, POB 727, Trumansburg NY 14886 +1 607 330 5711

Member, Provisional board, Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by danny burstei » Tue, 06 May 2003 04:48:14



Quote:>> that they should still kick in the cash to the highway trust fund to
>> compensate for the gasoline taxes they're not paying...
>I have some sympathy for the ILECs' position here.  Vonage gives you a
>real phone number which works just like an ILEC number (indeed it can
>often be a ported ILEC number) so why shouldn't you pay similar taxes
>on similar service?  Yeah, the insides are different, but that's not
>apparent when you pick up the phone.

yabbut many of these "taxes" aren't gov't stuff (for a better or worse
example, the so-called 911 surcharge so commonly tacked on) but are kicked
right back to the telcos (i.e. the GoreTax)
--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key

[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by Macy Hallo » Tue, 06 May 2003 05:54:04



+---------------

Quote:> > Did you catch that the ILECs are trying to get Vonage to cough up
> > all those extra charges the telcos love so much? Kind of like
> > telling someone choosing to ride a bicycle instead of taking a car
> > that they should still kick in the cash to the highway trust fund to
> > compensate for the gasoline taxes they're not paying...

> I have some sympathy for the ILECs' position here.  Vonage gives you a
> real phone number which works just like an ILEC number (indeed it can
> often be a ported ILEC number) so why shouldn't you pay similar taxes
> on similar service?  Yeah, the insides are different, but that's not
> apparent when you pick up the phone.

Tough to agree with you.  Many of the extra charges, e.g. USF, Etrust,
911, functionally benefit the ILEC's in one form or another. They control
the structures that collect, regulate and (for the most part) receive
all these funds.
--
    Macy M. Hallock, Jr. N8OBG 216.241.7166 fax:216.241.7522
 APK Net, Inc. 1621 Euclid Ave. Suite 1230 Cleveland, OH 44115 USA
 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by John R. Levi » Tue, 06 May 2003 09:49:49


Quote:>> why shouldn't you pay similar taxes on similar service?
>Tough to agree with you.  Many of the extra charges, e.g. USF, Etrust,
>911, functionally benefit the ILEC's in one form or another. They control
>the structures that collect, regulate and (for the most part) receive
>all these funds.

I'm looking at my phone bills.  On my Vonage bill, there is 3% Federal
excise tax.  On my non-Bell ILEC bill there's a 35 cent 911 surcharge,
a $6 access charge, a 55 cent universal service charge, 8% state+local
sales tax, 3% state surcharge, and the 3% FET.  I think we can ignore
the access charge, since we know it's just part of the monthly line
charge under a misleading name.  The 911 surcharge goes to the county
to pay for the people who answer 911, the sales tax and surcharge go
to the state and county, and the FET pays for the Spanish American
War.  The only one I see that's fed back to the ILECs is the universal
service fee, and I was under the impression that CLECs could get in on
that if they were willing to accept ILEC style universal service
mandates.

Vonage doesn't pay the 911 charge nor the 11% state+local tax, neither
of which benefits the ILEC, so in my case it's 55 cents for the ILEC,
$2.35 for the government.  That's where I have sympathy for the ILEC's
position, and that's the bulk of the taxes.

--
John R. Levine, IECC, POB 727, Trumansburg NY 14886 +1 607 330 5711

Member, Provisional board, Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by Macy Hallo » Tue, 06 May 2003 22:07:13



+---------------

Quote:> >> why shouldn't you pay similar taxes on similar service?
> >Tough to agree with you.  Many of the extra charges, e.g. USF, Etrust,
> >911, functionally benefit the ILEC's in one form or another....

>On my non-Bell ILEC bill there's a 35 cent 911 surcharge,
> a $6 access charge, a 55 cent universal service charge, 8% state+local
> sales tax, 3% state surcharge, and the 3% FET.  

Access charge = goes in your ILEC's pocket
USF charge = ILEC subsidy (money is routed to ILEC's in one form or another)
911 surcharge = In most states, funds the 911 PSAP equipment, which is
    almost always ILEC supplied/maintained with no competitive bidding.

(Gore tax is built into USF fees, most of this also goes to the ILEC's.)

The ILEC's want VoIP CLEC's that fall outside the traditional state LEC
regulatory structures (something Vonage does quite nicely) to pay these
same charges, most of which go into their pockets in one way or another.

Oddly, a somewhat similiar situation applies to wireless lines/phones,
which are replacing many secondary and even primary residential phones
lines. Still, the ILEC's make good money on wireless local interconnection
and have made some other changes in wireless fees work to their benefit.
However, the large wireless co's gotten smart and now have adequate legal
representation to help moderate the ILEC's various forms of fee meddling.

As for taxes, that's a universal problem. I agree that Vonage currently
has an attractive tax edge right now. I strongly suspect the state and
federal gov't will find a way our Vonage bills at some point. Note that
in most states you'll pay less taxes on a wireless phone than on a ILEC
POTS line.
--
    Macy M. Hallock, Jr. N8OBG 216.241.7166 fax:216.241.7522
 APK Net, Inc. 1621 Euclid Ave. Suite 1230 Cleveland, OH 44115 USA

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by KiloDelat » Tue, 06 May 2003 23:20:22



Quote:> As for taxes, that's a universal problem. I agree that Vonage currently
> has an attractive tax edge right now. I strongly suspect the state and
> federal gov't will find a way our Vonage bills at some point. Note that
> in most states you'll pay less taxes on a wireless phone than on a ILEC
> POTS line.

How hard would it be for Vonage to move it's switch from New Jersey to
someplace other than the U.S. Not very hard at all.

The incumbents through their inaction and failure to correct the error
of their ways that dates back to 1900 or so have nailed themselves into
a corner.

For example - if I can get a 2nd line with all the features for only $25
a month (I'll use my dial-around LD) if Verizon provided it the price
would be close to $50. Even Cox offers two lines for roughly $43 a month
and they're pretty competitive with Verizon.

Wired services are beoming an albatross.

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by John R. Levi » Wed, 07 May 2003 06:15:51


Quote:>> As for taxes, that's a universal problem. I agree that Vonage currently
>> has an attractive tax edge right now. I strongly suspect the state and
>> federal gov't will find a way our Vonage bills at some point. Note that
>> in most states you'll pay less taxes on a wireless phone than on a ILEC
>> POTS line.

>How hard would it be for Vonage to move it's switch from New Jersey to
>someplace other than the U.S. Not very hard at all.

Moving the switch is easy.  Completing the calls is another question.
They can set up shop in, say, Belize easily enough.  But now they're
going to be paying Belize->US rates for their calls which are a heck
of a lot more than for domestic calls through a CLEC.

Quote:>Wired services are beoming an albatross.

Depends on the LEC.  My non-Bell ILEC is still doing a good job, but I
admit that they're doing it with a lot of USF money.

--
John R. Levine, IECC, POB 727, Trumansburg NY 14886 +1 607 330 5711

Member, Provisional board, Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

 
 
 

Vonage local calling areas

Post by Ed Eller » Tue, 13 May 2003 17:02:53


"Kind of like telling someone choosing to ride a bicycle instead of taking a
car that they should still kick in the cash to the highway trust fund to
compensate for the gasoline taxes they're not paying..."

I wouldn't do it to bicycles, but electric cars are a different matter.

 
 
 

1. Local calling area (was 714 Area Code Change)

I'd be interested to bring that situation to the attention of the CA
PUC. Allegedly, PBMS is not supposed to be subsidized by the regulated
parts of the company. If they have that deal only for themselves,
other cell providers should be complaining loudly. If it's available
to other companies, those companies don't seem to mention it in their
advertisements or literature. The feature ought to be available to all
competitors.

BTW, I think it might be a good feature. Calls TO a cell number could
be considered local in exactly the same territory which is considered
local for calls FROM that number. Here in the LA area, that means
anyone in about 10 area codes would be able to call me as a local
(non-toll) call. The complication is that, if the rule were applied
in reverse, cell calls to a landline number might be subject to tolls
based on the calling area of the landline. Not exactly what any of
us want.
--
Dave Close, Compata, Costa Mesa CA  "Politics is the business of getting


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