Forward My Calls — Paul Durrant <[email protected]> responded to the FAQtoids 005 item on how ISPs have local dialing numbers outside their main network center. He noted that Demon, a large ISP in the UK, actually works with British Telecom to have the phone call itself forwarded. In the U.S., phone companies will forward calls but charge the recipient a significant amount per minute; however, in most other countries, consumers and businesses already pay a charge for every minute used even for local service – making it more profitable for the phone company to offer services that increase local calls. By having local numbers that are forwarded, Demon makes its 6,000-modem pool available to the entire country equally. Paul writes:
Demon now has four main phone numbers – two for modems and two for ISDN; that’s one of each from two separate telecom suppliers to provide a bit of redundancy in case of problems. Local phone calls in the UK are subject to a per-minute charge. This does mean, however, that ISPs can offer unlimited access for a fixed monthly fee without getting into the sort of trouble that AOL did. Unfortunately, it also means that I pay far more to the phone companies than I do to Demon for my access.