TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 712 858 8094?

Re: 712 858 8094?

John Levine (
3 Feb 2007 03:17:00 -0000

> I have been given this number and told that it is a US-dial gateway
> for making free international calls -- all you have to do is call the
> Iowa based number. It was suggested it to me as a way for me to call
> into conference calls at work for free. Does anyone know anything
> about this?

It worked to call my landline number in Paris, but not to my French
mobile. I suspect you will find it only works to call cheap places.
Since the going rate for calls to France is about the same as for
domestic long distance, this isn't much of a bargain unless you are
calling from a cell phone with flat rated domestic calls and
overpriced international (quite typical for US mobiles.)

The always informative Local Calling Guide reveals that 712-858 is the
tiny Superior Telephone Co-op, which strongly suggests that this is a
USF arbitrage gambit. That is, the co-op gets a very high per minute
settlement rate on inbound calls which is more than enough to pay the
penny or so that most int'l calls cost and still have something to

A little poking around reveals that this isn't the only USF arbitrage
in this exchange:



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