[kwlug-disc] Unlimitel/ATA pricing

Insurance Squared Inc. gcooke at insurancesquared.com
Sat Mar 14 11:45:11 EDT 2009

I appreciate the pricing comment.  I'm using unlimitel at my office.  My 
total monthly charges including access, long distance, and toll free are 
noticeably less than the base line costs from Bell *excluding* long 
distance and toll free.    And in addition to substantial savings, I get 
way more features, like on 2 dids I have 10 lines total instead of the 3 
that I wanted as the base.

It just seems that long term, if there was some automated directory 
integrated into Asterisk that says "if this number is in the directory, 
connect directly, otherwise go through my provider".  Eventually this 
could get to the point where most of are calls are free - and push 
things to the point where people are saying 'i can't call you if you're 
not on voip'.  I like that idea; pay for internet access and get all my 
communications for free from there.  As has been pointed out in this 
conversation previously, the idea of paying for phone communications is 
a legacy thing anyway.

The only problem with my bright idea of a directory is spamming.  What's 
worse than a public directory of everyone's email address?  A public 
directory of your phone number that's free to call and open 


Andrew Kohlsmith (lists) wrote:
> On March 12, 2009 08:56:45 pm Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:
>> Whoa, full stop.  You're saying that if I have an asterisk system, and
>> you have an asterisk system, we can call each other without paying
>> unlimitel or whoever?
> That is exactly correct.  Essentially that is what Unlimitel/LES.net/etc. all 
> are... other systems that you call.  The difference is that they are giving 
> you access to the PSTN through their system, and charging you for it.
>> Is there special setup for that or is it relatively automated?  And
>> who's got a directory running for this?  Because this seems like it has
>> a lot of potential.  I'm on the phone all day to people running
>> asterisk, and I'm paying both useage and inbound toll free charges for
>> most of that.  If there was a simple directory setup that my system
>> checked before calling so my call was free.....well, then I'd have free
>> calling.
> In reality, it's not often worth all the hassle.  There's also the DID 
> exchange (didx.org), where you offer your phone line for local calling by 
> others, in exchange that they do the same for you, but again... you're now 
> using some random schmoe's internet connection and phone line... quality can 
> vary wildly, and reliability suffers.
> Honestly though, $0.011/min isn't a fortune, and I have significantly reduced 
> the long distance bills for several businesses.  When I worked at Benshaw, 
> their long distance went from $thousands to under $300/mo.  If I could have 
> convinced their parent company to let me hook up an Asterisk box there for 
> direct calling, I would have got that bill down to under $50/mo.  (most of 
> their calls were to their parent company, with a decent internet 
> connection -- that is where it makes sense to start worrying about direct 
> connections without a provider).
> -A.
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