Monopolies vs. everyone else
Monopolies work to protect something that wouldn't belong to them if we had a chance to start over. Everyone else works to provide services or goods that people actually want.
Gil just sent this one over:
[Blake just sent me this note: "The reason it is free is because they put their switches in independent telephone companies (rural America) when a larger phone company terminates a call (when you call the “free” conference calling) then the rural company is able to charge Qwest or whomever else terminates the call a fee. In areas like IA they want to buy the LD for .05 cents a minute and then charge Qwest as high as .15 cents a minute for terminating the call. They want to buy it for less then it costs. This is a common practice in this sector of the industry but they have found a way to milk the system and do more then it was intended to do and are in this case killing the larger Telco companies if that makes sense." It's entirely possible he's right. If so, I apologize to Cingular, etc.--the challenge those companies face is pretty obvious--we don't get phone service so we can call most phones, we get it so we can call all phones.]