phone fun, was GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

Julien Goodwin nanog at
Wed Apr 27 06:57:54 UTC 2016

On 27/04/16 09:16, Owen DeLong wrote:
> One thing I always found particularly amusing was that it used to be a toll call to call from San Jose East (408238) to Sunnyvale (I forget the NPA/NXX), but that there were several prefixes in San Jose West (e.g. 408360 IIRC) where it was free to call from San Jose East and could place a free call to Sunnyvale.
> I also discovered that a single line with call forwarding was relatively cheap per month and could forward many calls into a hunt group.
> So, we used to extend the toll-free reach of BBS systems by finding “friends” with houses in strategic prefixes and having them install a single telephone line with call forwarding. Then, once the line was installed, we’d run over to the location, program the forwarder to go to the BBS hunt lead number and voila… Instant toll free unlimited BBS calling for another 20-30 prefixes for less than $15/month and completely legal.
> At first, we thought we had to hide what we were doing as we were sure that the phone company would object, but we later discovered that absent a PUC proceeding to change the tariff they really didn’t have anything they could say about it. We started showing up on the day of install to dial in the forwarding and confirm functionality while the tech was still on site. You should have seen some of the reactions when we showed up with a butt set, set up call forwarding, told someone to make a test call and waited for positive confirmation. Priceless.

Similar things happened in Australia, with more than one ISP using this
to offer lower-toll dial-in numbers to their customers back in the day.

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