from the sneaky,-sneaky dept

The first time I ever spoke with Jeff Pulver was years back when he was trying to find volunteers for his “original” Free World Dialup idea. While it eventually became this free VoIP phone system where users could dial other FWD members for free, the original plan was much more interesting. The original idea was to get a bunch of users to connect their traditional phone service lines to a VoIP network, and create a “free” VoIP phone service that terminated calls via the nearest available volunteer’s node. In other words, the system would be mostly VoIP, just like FWD is now. However, each user would also connect to their existing PSTN phone system, and basically let the phone calls that are ending within a local area code use your account to complete the call. Since almost every phone system has free local calling, there’s no charges for users to worry about (phone companies, on the other hand…). Anyway, it appears that Pulver never really let this idea die, and he’s now trying to do it again with a new offering called Bellster. Of course, it’s still not simple to be a part of this network, which could be its downfall. It seemed like that’s what slowed the original FWD. While it is easier than it was years ago, it still takes some work to get this set up. It’s not Skype and it’s not FWD. If anything, it’s like Vonage, but free. Basically, it’s leveraging VoIP for long distance and riding on the “free local calls” aspect of most local telephone offerings. Should be interesting to see what happens.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “P2P PSTN?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
1 Comment
Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

You know I though of this idea a while ago and came to the conclusion that it would be too much of a voyuer attracter.

I am sure many people (with nothing to do) would love to listen in to all the conversations going through their phone line.

And anyone with a brain would realise this and shy away from using the system.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...