I have to admit that I had not a clue -- not even a clue, I reiterate -- as to whether owners of pay phones got paid when callers used their phones to make calls with prepaid cards. Not. A. Clue.
Sure, I knew the callers didn't have to put in a quarter. But had no idea whether the pay phone owner simply got stiffed -- the pay phone business not being what it used to be, after all -- or got a piece the pie. Much less did I know how the pay phone owner might technically be able to figure out what (if anything it's owed).
But today, my friends, I am the wiser. For I have that knowledge. Available to you as well. Just read this.
It's a fascinating tale of PSPs (which stands for Payphone Service Providers, not the Sony PlayStationPortable, you gaming freaks), LECs (Local Exchange Carriers), IXCs (Interexchange Carriers), and SBRs (Switch-Based Resellers). As well as, on the technical side, ANIs and Flex-ANIs. In the end, it -- alongside regulations by the FCC -- decides who gets paid what and how.
Your local pay phone. It's complicated. And not just something used to hold graffiti. Even if, nowadays, that -- and drug deals -- is its principal function.