November 17, 2004 1:18 PM PST

SBC seeks new Net phone fees

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As soon as Thursday, SBC will introduce a new set of wholesale access services to let Internet phone service providers complete customer calls on SBC's local phone network, the company said.

This marks the second time one of the nation's leading local phone companies has offered such a package to carriers.

The carrier's Web site indicates its "Tiptop" brand set of services and wholesale access to SBC's network will be available in 12 of SBC's 13 major markets, with Connecticut to be launched in December.

While Tiptop terms and pricing ultimately need approval from the Federal Communications Commission, SBC can go forward now, according to FCC rules. An FCC spokesman said on Wednesday that the carrier hadn't yet delivered the necessary paperwork. SBC said in an earlier FCC filing that it intended to do so at an undisclosed time.

SBC did not disclose Tiptop's prices in its public filings or return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment Wednesday.

The hubbub surrounding SBC's plans involve scores of providers of home phone services using a broadband connection, rather than the heavily taxed and regulated traditional local phone network. While such calls generally avoid local phone lines, making them a much cheaper alternative, access to local phone networks is required to allow unlimited calling to any telephone number in the United States.

The nation's leading local carriers see Net phone carriers using so-called voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology from cable companies and VoIP-specialist upstarts such as Vonage, as a threat, given that cheaper VoIP services could lure customers away in droves.

Tiptop could be a way for SBC to counteract that potential revenue loss, giving SBC an opportunity to charge VoIP providers more for access to their local phone networks than the carrier would otherwise be allowed to.

But as VoIP providers pointed out Wednesday, for now Tiptop will be one of several options each has to complete calls to SBC customers, so there's little immediate fear. Even if SBC does charge higher rates for the access than VoIP providers are paying now, they could turn to any number of other traditional phone companies or third-party wholesalers that have agreements with SBC already.

In Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, which first reported SBC's efforts, executives stressed Tiptop is just like any other product SBC sells.

The SBC action comes just a few days after the company said it will begin selling residential phone services that use the Internet in 2005, aiming for those in its existing U.S. markets who buy broadband access but gave up their traditional home phones.

4 comments

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Let me have VoIP FREE Local and Long Distance.
I see these stories every day that phone companies are going to charge this and that and cable companies now are stepping up to the plate wanting to play an important role holding on to what they have.
The question must be "for how long can they keep doing this" trying to hold on to a defecting customer base.

The painting is on the wall and it says "FREE" that is only four small letters and this is what people want, they want free, they want something for nothing as most people would say. How can this be done by the large carriers, the answer must be, it can not be done and this is where opportunity lies for smaller companies that has come up with a FREE solution for everyone.
If you are in need for FREE Local and Long Distance calling you can find the solution at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.NTRSource.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.NTRSource.com</a> which stands for Non Traditional Revenue Source.
It looks just like a cell phone with a clarity that beats even the best system on the market on price and sound.
What's better than sound and price? how about FREE. Go ahead and download the system today, it's all yours for the taking or let it be an early Christmas Gift from us to your home or office and yes we do need reps to spread the word so if interested please give us a call or send an email.

Merry Christmas.
Posted by ntrsource (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Long Distance calling
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/jeep_liberty_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/jeep_liberty_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
Link Flag
Let me have VoIP FREE Local and Long Distance.
I see these stories every day that phone companies are going to charge this and that and cable companies now are stepping up to the plate wanting to play an important role holding on to what they have.
The question must be "for how long can they keep doing this" trying to hold on to a defecting customer base.

The painting is on the wall and it says "FREE" that is only four small letters and this is what people want, they want free, they want something for nothing as most people would say. How can this be done by the large carriers, the answer must be, it can not be done and this is where opportunity lies for smaller companies that has come up with a FREE solution for everyone.
If you are in need for FREE Local and Long Distance calling you can find the solution at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.NTRSource.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.NTRSource.com</a> which stands for Non Traditional Revenue Source.
It looks just like a cell phone with a clarity that beats even the best system on the market on price and sound.
What's better than sound and price? how about FREE. Go ahead and download the system today, it's all yours for the taking or let it be an early Christmas Gift from us to your home or office and yes we do need reps to spread the word so if interested please give us a call or send an email.

Merry Christmas.
Posted by ntrsource (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Long Distance calling
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/jeep_liberty_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/jeep_liberty_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
Link Flag
 

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