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Re: "ISDN Tariff Trick" -Reply
At 08:43 PM 10/31/96 -0500, James Love wrote:
>I would caution people that if they are doing something with setting the
>data bit to voice when they are using data, don't brag about if on this
>list, unless you want to face some retaliation by the RBOC.
>The RBOCs are monitoring this list. jamie
Not to worry.
I've been getting a torrent of harrassing mail today from somebody who reads
the list. He's anonymous, hiding under an AOL screen name.
Anyway, as I explained to him, there's nothing illegal about DOSBS. The
Virginia tariff, which is probably illegal on its face and in any case
unenforceable, ostensibly allows BA to charge data rates for data calls
originated as voice. That's as far as it goes. The reality is that some
telcos are talking to some manufacturers (I have this on deep background,
if you get my drift) about selling them digital distortion circuitry to
mung up the bits, so that DOSBS won't work. Of course neither will the
USR, Lucent or Rockwell 56k modems, so the opposition will be, uh, strong.
NYNEX knows we use DOSBS here. I told 'em so. We sometimes order ISDN
lines with "1 voice 0 data" and attach Ascend or Gandalf routers or bridges.
NYNEX has two main problems in their ISDN tariff. One is that DOSBS is
*totally* unlimited, so there are "nailed" users. They don't like that;
they might stick a threshold limit on ISDN "voice" calling. Personally I
think it's a very reasonable idea, if in the 200 hour range. The other is
tariff has no "EZ-ISDN" or similar packages, so ordering is complex "a la
carte", not packaged for "flow through" processing. The tariff, though,
is "compensatory", even with DOSBS, except for the nailed users.
Their other problems with ISDN are those of demand. It's selling well.
Lots of people want it at the current rates, and they can't train installers
enough to keep up. Thus the late deliveries, etc. But they never give me
grief about DOSBS in general. They don't exactly promote it, but they
know it sells. (Why else would I pay $20 extra for the Metropolitan Service
package, which only applies to voice? If it weren't for being able to use
it on ISDN, I'd probably be using a modem. And the truth is that like most
people, my call volume is low enough that I might even come out ahead on
"measured", but I'd rather pre-pay for a flat rate plan than think about it.)
Some folks have a problem with this, because they live under the assumption
that telco has what mediaevals called a "franchise" or "staple". That's the
right to the revenue, no matter who does the work. The Post Office's Private
Express statutes are a rare vestige of this; they can technically charge you
32 cents for mailing a non-urgent letter via FedEx. In the ham radio world,
there are a few anal-retentive types who think that you can't use a phone
patch from your car if your car is parked outside of the local calling area,
lest you be using the autopatch to deprive "the phone company" of their
toll revenue! (Today, who's the phone company?)
DOSBS is the same way. It's taking the 3.1 kHz audio bearer capability and
stretching it to its limit, which is 56k on an ISDN line. (Of course it'll
be 56k in one direction on some high-quality POTS lines soon.) Telco makes
no guarantees that it works. But then, they don't guarantee modems either,
at least not beyond 2400 bps. I pay the $8 surcharge to make a line digital,
and I take advantage of the superior transmission quality on "voice" calls!
That's what DOSBS is, and that's why every major US ISDN vendor supports it.
Nothing for the user to be ashamed of. Nothing to hide. It's a silly
artifact of silly tariffs, and the telcos sort of know it, but it's not a
big problem for them. Maybe Bell Atlantic, since they seem to have a
corporate personality disorder. But I doubt GTE, and I certainly doubt
NYNEX, whose problems are more of their technical abilities (inadequate
staffing) and backward facilities, not of outward hostility to users.
Fred R. Goldstein k1io email@example.com +1 617 873 3850
Opinions are mine alone. Sharing requires permission.