Wednesday, May 04, 2011

GCB Communications v. U.S. South Communications (9th Cir. - April 29, 2011)

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.