The Telecom Digest for January 03, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 3 : "text" Format
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Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2011 06:16:12 +0000 (UTC)
From: "Adam H. Kerman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: CNAM for toll-free numbers
John Levine <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>Except that toll-free numbers CANNOT originate calls. ...
>>I frequently get junk calls and legitimate calls where the Caller ID
>>is a toll-free number, e.g., 800-xxx-xxxx. Are these numbers spoofed?
John, would you PLEASE stop cutting attribution lines?
>ANI is not Caller ID. The ANI is the billing info, which is very hard
>to spoof, provided by the originating telco switch, and points to the
>actual line that made the call. Caller ID can be set by terminal
>equipment, particularly if the call originates over ISDN or VoIP, and
>can be set to more or less whatever the caller wants. There are
>perfectly legitimate reasons for ANI and CNID not to match, with the
>most common being that the ANI is a PBX trunk, and the CNID is the
>number of the extension.
>If the 800-xxx-xxxx really is a number at which you can call back the
>person who's calling, I suppose I wouldn't describe it as spoofed.
>And they're doing you a favor, since approximately 100% of calls with
>800 CNID are calls you can safely not answer.
I agree with what you wrote, but I do get calls returned from companies I
do business with in which the 800 number is shown and the employee leaving
the message has nearly zero telephone etiquette. If they are returning
my call with the answer to my question, then at least knowing what city
they called from may be helpful. ANI gives me that; a substituted number
in Caller ID does not. Otherwise, I call back, give my account number,
and the person finds no notes on the account, so I have the fun of
I've found that the telephone company has the worst telephone etiquette of
all, and they have no concept of leaving the number of their extension.
***** Moderator's Note *****
Excuse me sir: I'll have you know that I am a high school graduate!
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 23:50:04 -0600
From: John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Google As A Carrier?
CNNMoney published an interesting piece by David Goldman this morning
entitled, Google: Your new phone carrier? In it, Goldman lays out what
he sees as the preliminary steps Google has taken to become a wireless
carrier themselves down the road. He also gives some reasons for why
they would and would not want to do that. In my mind, the concept is
much more straightforward. Goldman ends the title of his piece with a
question mark - but it should be a period.
It's not a question of "if" Google will try to become a carrier. It's
just a matter of "when" they'll try to.
Now, to be clear, that doesn't mean I think they'll actually be able
to become a carrier. The biggest hurdle there has nothing to do with
the technology needed, the money needed, or the expertise. Rather, the
major issue would be the government. Would they allow Google, already
one of the biggest corporations in the United States, to enter a new
area that could extend their control (particularly in the advertising
space)? Probably not. Actually, I have a feeling it might have more to
do with Verizon and AT&T lobbying dollars influencing the government
to block Google in such a cause.
But again, Google will try. It may be a few years from now, but it's inevitable.
Here's the key blurb of the CNNMoney piece, far down:
It's not likely in the immediate future. Google's Android is the
hottest item in the mobile market, and the company relies on carriers
to adopt its software and drive customers to its search site.
But it's a real possibility down the road. The Federal Communications
Commission recently failed to enact strong Net neutrality rules for
the wireless community. That leaves open the option for carriers to
restrict their subscribers' access to some of Google's offerings.
Without the net neutrality safeguards in place, the carriers will make
moves to restrict certain services down the road. YouTube is one
example. Google Voice is probably another. There will likely be a
Interestingly enough, it's none other than Google who will share a big
part of the blame for this happening. Not only did they leave Android
so open so as to allow for the carriers to do whatever they want, but
they also teamed up with none other than Verizon to dream up the
current bogus non-rules the FCC just voted to adopt for wireless
But what if it is just a big "Keep your friends close and your enemies
closer" scenario? What if Google saw teaming up with Verizon as the
only way to move at least part of the net neutrality debate forward
(as Google CEO Eric Schmidt has more or less stated) and realized that
it was inevitable that they'd be competing with them in wireless down
the road? It can't be ruled out. And at the very least, the
partnership may be a bit of bet hedging - a way to ensure continued
money-making just in case they can't enter the wireless space down the
Remember that Google has done some sly manipulation of the space in
the past. In 2008, they put up a huge bid to buy a portion of the
wireless spectrum that the FCC was opening. But Google had no
intention of actually winning with that bid. Instead, they bid just
enough ($4.6 billion) to ensure that the open device and application
rules would be put in place on the spectrum, no matter who won the
rights to control it. And who won those rights? Verizon (and AT&T to a
While Google and the carriers may seem all buddy-buddy now, in the
not-too-distant future, they will likely be at odds with one another.
The reason will be that the carriers will begin restricting what
Google thinks should be open. And Google will have to make some moves
to open things up once again.
Rumors of Google buying one of the smaller U.S. carriers, namely
Sprint, have been around since at least 2007. Those rumors pop up
every year, and they will likely only intensify going forward. One
issue there is that it would only solve the U.S. problem. Of course,
given the state of carrier control in this country, it is likely the
problem Google will want to solve first. The other bigger issue,
again, is the government blocking such a purchase.
Instead, Google may simply try to buy up chunks of spectrum from
others. Or build out their white space initiative, the so-called "WiFi
on steroids". Or maybe they'll dream up some other new technology to
try to end carrier dominance. This is the company behind self-driving
cars, after all.
Remember, Google is already entering the ISP game with their fiber
optic broadband test. Why? Because the state of broadband in this
country is pretty piss poor thanks largely to de-facto regional
monopolies in place. The next, and more important step is for them to
take to the skies, and for largely the same reason. And Google will
try to: it's only a matter of time. I'm just worried that like most
things they're attempting these days, it will be easier said than
Date: 2 Jan 2011 23:26:52 -0000
From: John Levine <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Google As A Carrier?
> Would they allow Google, already one of the biggest corporations in
>the United States, to enter a new area that could extend their
>control (particularly in the advertising space)? Probably
>not. Actually, I have a feeling it might have more to do with Verizon
>and AT&T lobbying dollars influencing the government to block Google
>in such a cause.
Ahem. Let's look at some annual revenue figures:
Google is a rather small company compared to AT&T or Verizon, and is
still smaller than Sprint, although I expect it may pass Sprint this
year. I would argue that far from Google being too large, it is
barely large enough to compete with behemoths like VZ and T.
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End of The Telecom Digest (3 messages)