reply to Linklist
Re: FCC will be correcting this abuse of rural telecom subsidy The original posting was correct. the major carriers pushed for this setup when they thought rural carriers had more outgoing calls (since origination fees are the same) than incoming calls. They thought they would make money.
The irony is that they do make money on even the incoming calls. Most of these calls are business calls from cell and business phones that generate new long distance revenues for the bunches of minutes used. The stories they tell about these being "free" minutes are nonsense. So the carriers win even if they lose here, since the CLEC rates in effect are typically 2.5 cents, while the carriers are earning on average 6.5 cents per minute.
this is actually about killing competition on two fronts--AT&T and Verizon and Sprint all have major investments in conferencing (AT&T just bought an Israeli company for $121 million for example) and they have been working for years (pretty successfully) to kill CLECs.