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Which U.S. area codes are not supported in the U.S. Talk packages?

Val_T
Retraité / Retired
Retraité / Retired

Hey Community,

 

As of December 8th, 2016, calls made to the following six digit combinations will no longer be supported on any Talk plans and add-ons that include U.S. calling to:

 

State

Excluded areas after December 8th, 2016

Area codes

California

Reedley

  559-726-XXXX

Iowa

Carroll

  712-775-XXXX

Lake Park

  712-432-XXXX

Charles City

  641-552-XXXX

South Dakota

Redfield

  605-475-XXXX

Pine Ridge

  605-562-XXXX

Fort Thompsons

  605-477-XXXX

 

It's really important that we offer our products and services to our customers at fair rates. Unfortunately, our agreement with our partners in the U.S. makes it extremely expensive to support calls made to these regions. In order to keep our Talk prices as they are, we had to make a difficult decision to exclude these numbers from our Talk packages.

 

We realize that this might be an inconvenience to some of you so we are exploring options that would bridge this gap.

 

Thank you,

 

Your Public Mobile Community team

38 REPLIES 38

@daredogg I am unsure if I sympathize with AT&T / Google etc. The term Traffic Pumping is a term fabricated by long distance carriers to paint rural areas negatively because they have higher fees.

 

It also is counter intuitive because they would REALLY need to make it up on volume, the fees actually DECREASE every minute used so driving in extra volume is kind of pointless no?

 

Despite having a possible 9999 "bad" numbers, according to the FCC there are fewer than 100 actually being restricted. 100 for the entire country, not just 1 exchange.

 

 

WearySky
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

That Reedley exchange looks to be commonly used for those free conference call services as well.  A quick googling around shows other people being unable to call 559-726 numbers on their Google voice, etc.  More traffic pumping.  Capitalism at its finest!

@kav2001c I wondered as well why a place like Reedley, California would be excluded, because as @Jsauter posted, it's one exchange of 9999 numbers max. I went to the wiki page about Traffic Pumping (again that Jsauter posted), and was astounded by this...

 

Rural carriers can receive millions of dollars of fees [ for pumping calls through their area code exchanges ], which they then share with the ostensibly "local" service providers [ the big phone companies ], who are responsible for vastly increasing call volume above typical rural usage.

 

Hail to the MAN! Robot Mad It's terrible how the BIG companies exist to exploit! *shaking head* Don't know if this is the situation in Reedley, but it for sure is in Iowa and South Dakota.

 


@Rockdaddy22 wrote:
Wow this is insane, is this just a PM thing?

It's funny isn't it? Most carriers exclude Alaska and Hawaii as being expensive

 

kav2001c
Mayor / Maire

Does anyone want to dial Iowa or South Dakota? Not unless it is a wrong number ha ha

Cat Tongue

 

The Cali one seems odd, esp since that state has so many area codes in it, 1 just looks all lonely

 

 

WearySky
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

@dparibello82 wrote:

@WearySky my T-Mobile data has been running at LTE when roaming. I understand the buying power of Canadian plans, but don't you find it somewhat concerning that I can get a cheaper plan in the US to use in Canada? When the majority of phone plans switch to borderless calling, as the US has done, I'll drop my Canadian phone in a heartbeat to take advantage of their better plans and pricing + I can avoid all the roaming fees Canadian phone companies charge when travelling in the US. Just seems like poor business practice to encourage me to move my business to the US or provide little to no incentive to keep my business.

 

That's interesting that you get LTE in Canada on your T-Mobile plan.  The last time I'd seen any discussion of it, LTE data was not included when roaming.  So that's definitely a plus.  It's still technically limited since you're not supposed to use it more than 50% of the time outside of the US, but still interesting.

 

And no, I'm not really THAT concerned that our plans are more expensive than in the US - that 10x the population difference, and a smaller area to cover network-wise, makes a significant difference.  We're still getting screwed here in general (evidenced by the fact that the Big 3 can offer way cheaper plans in provinces where there's a viable 4th carrier, like MTS in Manitoba, Sasktel in Saskatchewan and Videotron in Quebec), but I don't really expect Canadian national carriers to really be able to provide the same level of service for the same price that American providers can, simply due to economies of scale.

dparibello82
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen
@Tvisforme I get better data and phone signal when I'm roaming with T-Mobile partners. I know they run on the same networks, but for one reason or another, I have yet to drop a call while roaming with T-Mobile vs the occasional dropped call with PM. I also get better signal strength in different buildings and geographies. Again, couldn't tell you why, but that has just been my experience.

@WearySky my T-Mobile data has been running at LTE when roaming. I understand the buying power of Canadian plans, but don't you find it somewhat concerning that I can get a cheaper plan in the US to use in Canada? When the majority of phone plans switch to borderless calling, as the US has done, I'll drop my Canadian phone in a heartbeat to take advantage of their better plans and pricing + I can avoid all the roaming fees Canadian phone companies charge when travelling in the US. Just seems like poor business practice to encourage me to move my business to the US or provide little to no incentive to keep my business.

Must say this, alternative if PPL must dial these area codes, Purchase a Calling card, that is Only Viable option until PM conjures an alternative to the situation

WearySky
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

@srlawren I wonder if anybody actually has any real numbers in those exchanges, that aren't for-profit services?  The phone companies seem to be working with the teleconferencing/long distance services that operate in these exchanges in order to make all kinds of money.  I'd be surprised if they're giving any numbers to actual residential customers in those exchanges.

srlawren
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
Thanks for clarifying, @Val_T. Disappointing, but understandable. So I guess the best options for anyone needing to speak with people in those exchanges include:

1) text, email, or instant message the person and ask them to call you (this is assuming inbound calls from those exchanges are still possible--can you please confirm?)

2) could try fongo or hangouts dialer or other VoIP solution, though it's quite possible they also have blocked or will block calling those exchanges as well

3) make a voice or video call not involving the phone system at all, such as Skype-to-Skype, WhatsApp voice call, Viber, BBM, etc.

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Val_T
Retraité / Retired
Retraité / Retired

Hi @srlawren,

 

Correct - calls made to these US phone numbers will not be supported. Meaning Canada & US Talk that is included in the base plan (if chosen) and the long distance add-ons that include US calls will not include calls to these phone numbers.

 

Thanks,

 

Val

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
I'm happy to hear that that it's no only PM that has done this. Thanks for the education folks 🙂

WearySky
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire
Yeah, I'm guessing they're just blocking the exchanges used by those long distance/teleconferencing services

Jsauter
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen
It's only for single exchanges in those area codes. Max 9999 numbers.

daredogg
Mayor / Maire

Sucks though if you live in the 712 or 605 area code because nobody will be able to call you!

 

What's the deal with Reedley, California then? It's a pretty small area. Only 25,000 people.

 

DL
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen
I actually fully support Public Mobile in this action. These small local telcos are extorting all other carriers and by extension, the overall public. Fsck them, let them rot.

WearySky
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

Yup, AT&T/Cingular has blocked these types of things since 2007. Wind too (with mention of Mobilicity), since at least 2011.  

Jsauter
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

Totally what happened.  I would assume most "unlimited" plans probably block these exchanges because it would cost way to much to support.  

Tvisforme
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

 

As of December 8th, 2016, calls made to the following six digit combinations will no longer be supported on any Talk plans and add-ons that include U.S. calling to:

 

State

Excluded areas after December 8th, 2016

Area codes

California

Reedley

  559-726-XXXX

Iowa

Carroll

  712-775-XXXX

Lake Park

  712-432-XXXX

Charles City

  641-552-XXXX

South Dakota

Redfield

  605-475-XXXX

Pine Ridge

  605-562-XXXX

Fort Thompsons

  605-477-XXXX

 

It's really important that we offer our products and services to our customers at fair rates. Unfortunately, our agreement with our partners in the U.S. makes it extremely expensive to support calls made to these regions. In order to keep our Talk prices as they are, we had to make a difficult decision to exclude these numbers from our Talk packages.


 

I did some research on this, apparently some of these area codes are significantly more expensive to terminate calls in than the norm for North America. No surprise, it is a revenue-generating idea for those areas. The rural exchanges in some US states such as South Dakota and Iowa are permitted to charge significantly higher termination fees, ostensibly to cover costs on lower-volume exchanges. However, they solicit high-volume services such as teleconferencing and sex chat lines in order to drive more calls through these expensive connections.

 

New York Times "Why Google Doesn't Like Its Phone Bill"

Blog post "What's With the 712 Area Code?"

Jsauter
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

 

I assume that Public is filtering these locations because of this:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_pumping

 

Google Voice prevents calls to these exchanges as well apparently.

 

While this doesn't really impact me at all because I hardly make phone calls anymore in general and I have no friends or family in those exchanges, I hope this is not a slippery slope where more and more places get removed from US calling.  I suspect this will be a one off scenario.

 

Tvisforme
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

@Val_T wrote:

"As of December 8th, 2016, calls made to the following six digit combinations will no longer be supported on any Talk plans and add-ons that include U.S. calling..."


@Val_T Is there (or will there be) a post or FAQ on the site that collects all of the information from these announcements?

Tvisforme
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

@dparibello82 wrote:
While I don't know if this poses a problem for me yet, I don't understand how it is possible that this isn't an issue. If it wasn't long distance for people to call me on a US number, I'd have switched to their phone plans long ago. I can get better phone signal, data and calling with Tmobile plan in Canada than I can get with any Canadian carrier. Not to mention it works in the US!

Out of curiousity, how exactly do you get "better phone signal [and] data...than [you] can get with any Canadian carrier" when you are using Canadian carrier infrastructure? I can understand that you might find a plan that offers you more, but the network technology is going to be the same given that T-Mobile does not have a network in Canada.

WearySky
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

@dparibello82 wrote:
While I don't know if this poses a problem for me yet, I don't understand how it is possible that this isn't an issue. If it wasn't long distance for people to call me on a US number, I'd have switched to their phone plans long ago. I can get better phone signal, data and calling with Tmobile plan in Canada than I can get with any Canadian carrier. Not to mention it works in the US!

E.g. My us T-Mobile account offers Unlimited north American calling (includes Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska) and texting, and 3 Gb of data anywhere in the US and Canada. All this for $45 usd /month. Oh, and streaming certain items, like Netflix, doesn't count towards my data consumption.

So my question is, why/how does calling these 7 regions pose a cost burden to PM in Canada?

1 - That T-Mobile account is limited to 3G data only in Canada, is it not?  

2 - Some amount of it is about bargaining power - US carriers have 10x the number of subscribers that Canadian carriers do (on average, based on population), and so they can negotiate much better roaming rates.  For specific numbers - T-Mobile USA has nearly 70 million subscribers, and they're only the *third largest* carrier in the US.  Telus has 8.5 million wireless subscribers.  You don't think T-Mobile has more power to negotiate better rates vs Telus?  If those regions are standing firm and drawing a line at 10 or 15 cents a minute (or more) to connect to their networks, should Telus be required to suck it up and take a loss on that?

srlawren
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

@CaNuCk07 wrote:

Not seeing this as the biggest deal, lets face it, Iowa and South Dakota?  Maybe if it was New York or something, but i can deal without all the corn from Iowa.

 

 


 

@CaNuCk07 I think you were joking around (hehe), but on the off chance you weren't, this would be a big deal for anyone with friends or family in Iowa and South Dakota that used to be able to call them freely....


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srlawren
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

@Val_T sorry just a follow-up question for clarity:

 

Are you saying that:

 

1) Unlimited Canada+US Wide talk plan no longer includes calls to those are codes?

 

2) Long distance add-on minutes no longer cover calling those area codes?

 

3) both?  Other?

 

 


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dparibello82
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen
While I don't know if this poses a problem for me yet, I don't understand how it is possible that this isn't an issue. If it wasn't long distance for people to call me on a US number, I'd have switched to their phone plans long ago. I can get better phone signal, data and calling with Tmobile plan in Canada than I can get with any Canadian carrier. Not to mention it works in the US!

E.g. My us T-Mobile account offers Unlimited north American calling (includes Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska) and texting, and 3 Gb of data anywhere in the US and Canada. All this for $45 usd /month. Oh, and streaming certain items, like Netflix, doesn't count towards my data consumption.

So my question is, why/how does calling these 7 regions pose a cost burden to PM in Canada?

WearySky
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

It looks like Telus has done this for Telus customers as well (excluded these areas from US calling plans).  See this article: http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/carriers/telus/telus-80-canada-usa-plan-bc/

 

Interesting that just this small handful of local carriers decided not to play ball.  

makkahn28
Mayor / Maire
Hopefully this will be resolved, and these restored some day

Unlimited Canada and U.S.-Wide talk plans that don't even include unlimited calling to all places in the continental U.S.? 

 

Making matters worse, customers won't be able to call those numbers even if they are willing to pay extra, because as we know, Public doesn't do pay-per-use. 

 

Public's also going to have to change the way that they advertise the U.S. talk plans and add-ons.  Even then, who's going to subcribe to them now, if Public is going to start excluding certain cities and area codes?  I can't recall any phone company company in Canada that just charges different rates for places inside the continental U.S., or any that exclude certain places.  I believe Public should just charge what they need to charge and not overcomplicate things, which I see this as.

 

I'm dissapointed in Public on this one, dissapointed a term already mentioned earlier in this thread.

 

 

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
That's what I want to know, what about Koodo?