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Can Hotels Block VoIP Access?

 
 
Doug McIntyre
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      05-24-2005
"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>I would think that it is only a matter of time before hotels, and any other
>business that derives revenue from customers' use of their telephone
>facilities, decides to block VoIP on their data networks, forcing us to pay
>them when we make calls.


>Are any hotel chains already doing this?


I don't think any hotel chains are smart enough to do so. If they do
so, its probably by accident. They usually just drop in a DSL connection
and NAT everybody behind whatever router the IP provider gave them and
forget about it.




 
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Jeremy
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      05-24-2005

"Rick Merrill" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> Besides, how would they 'block voip'?


I can easily block it by changing the port settings on my router.


 
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Jeremy
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      05-24-2005

"Ivor Jones" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>
> How much revenue do they get anyway..? I assume we're talking about the
> USA here..? All the recent hotels I've stayed at in California provided
> free local calls within the same area code anyway, and as all I used them
> for were just that, I didn't pay any extra.
>


I remember AT&T taking out ads in travel magazines, back in the 1980s,
warning Americans to beware of heavy hotel surcharges on phone calls back to
the US.

Some foreign hotels were tacking on a US$10 surcharge!

AT&T recommended using public telephones rather than making calls from the
hotel room. They also inaugurated a service where you could go to a
payphone and dial an access code to be connected to a US operator, who would
complete the call and bill your AT&T card at US rates. I cannot remember
the name of the service. They provided you with a pocket card listing the
access numbers to dial for each country that you were in.

I have even heard of hotels that jammed cell phone signals so that guests
were forced into using the hotel's phone system, and paying the hotel's
exhorbitant rates. That practice is illegal in the US, but some posters in
the cellular NGs have noted that they've experienced it.

Telephone revenue was a big moneymaker for hotels--I don't know what the
current state of affairs is though. It seems to me that a hotel would try
to get you to use their own lines, if they could possibly get away with it.


 
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Ivor Jones
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      05-24-2005

"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:SpMke.378$2D3.215@trndny04...
>
> "Ivor Jones" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>>
>> How much revenue do they get anyway..? I assume we're talking about the
>> USA here..? All the recent hotels I've stayed at in California provided
>> free local calls within the same area code anyway, and as all I used
>> them for were just that, I didn't pay any extra.
>>

>
> I remember AT&T taking out ads in travel magazines, back in the 1980s,
> warning Americans to beware of heavy hotel surcharges on phone calls
> back to the US.
>
> Some foreign hotels were tacking on a US$10 surcharge!
>
> AT&T recommended using public telephones rather than making calls from
> the hotel room. They also inaugurated a service where you could go to a
> payphone and dial an access code to be connected to a US operator, who
> would complete the call and bill your AT&T card at US rates. I cannot
> remember the name of the service. They provided you with a pocket card
> listing the access numbers to dial for each country that you were in.
>
> I have even heard of hotels that jammed cell phone signals so that
> guests were forced into using the hotel's phone system, and paying the
> hotel's exhorbitant rates. That practice is illegal in the US, but some
> posters in the cellular NGs have noted that they've experienced it.
>
> Telephone revenue was a big moneymaker for hotels--I don't know what the
> current state of affairs is though. It seems to me that a hotel would
> try to get you to use their own lines, if they could possibly get away
> with it.


I've never had the problem. In any case, at the last motel I stayed at in
San Diego, there was a payphone around 30ft from my room door..! I never
needed it as the room phone gave free calls within the 619 area code and I
had two mobile (cell) phones (one US, one UK) with me anyway.

Ivor


 
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Garry W
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      05-24-2005
"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>I would think that it is only a matter of time before hotels, and any other
>business that derives revenue from customers' use of their telephone
>facilities, decides to block VoIP on their data networks, forcing us to pay
>them when we make calls.


"forcing us to pay them when we make calls" ???

How?? Even without broadband, it's only a rare (or rich) goofball that pays
hotel phone charges. Hotels are why god originally invented calling cards!

But assuming that there =are= some rich goofballs out there who are paying
hotel phone charges... would such a person also be doing a frugal thing like
using VoIP?

As for the rest of us... the hotel will lose no money by allowing a frugal
calling-card user to switch to being a frugal VoIP user. (Matter of fact,
they free up phone lines.)

(For the sake of the argument, perhaps hotels exist that charge for
calling-card calls... I haven't seen any... If so, would a hotel that is so
rude as to charge for 800 numbers be caught dead providing broadband for
free?)

Garry
 
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Miguel Cruz
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      05-25-2005
Jeremy <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> "Rick Merrill" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
>> Besides, how would they 'block voip'?

>
> I can easily block it by changing the port settings on my router.


If this becomes commonplace then people will quickly sort out ways around
it.

More troublesome is the possibility of adding heavy jitter, which won't be
noticed by web and email users but which will play havoc with VoIP call
quality.

miguel
--
Hit The Road! Photos from 36 countries on 5 continents: http://travel.u.nu
Latest photos: Queens Day in Amsterdam; the Grand Canyon; Amman, Jordan

 
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wkearney99
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      05-26-2005
> But assuming that there =are= some rich goofballs out there who are paying
> hotel phone charges... would such a person also be doing a frugal thing

like
> using VoIP?


VoIP isn't always just about being cheap. It's also potentially about being
portable. Being able to have your calls follow you is a handy feature of
VoIP.

> As for the rest of us... the hotel will lose no money by allowing a frugal
> calling-card user to switch to being a frugal VoIP user. (Matter of fact,
> they free up phone lines.)


An important distinction some don't realize is phone calls require a fixed
number of trunk lines. That is, in a hotel of 200 rooms you don't have the
ability to make 200 outgoing calls all at the same time. More like about 20
or so. Same thing does in office environments. That handset on your desk
does not have it's "own" outside line but shares one of the many outside
trunks. (yes, technically, a PBX could be configured to dedicate a trunk
line to just one handset but that's tangental). Some PBX systems can
support use of PRI, BRI, fiber or other types of lines that don't require
one pair per trunk. But the channel bank will still have a limit on the
number of simultaneous calls that can be handled.

This is part of the reason why hotels hated modems and are offering free
broadband. Having 200 guests try to make 200 modem calls immediately
overloads the PBX and ties up the lines. Moving to shared broadband lets
them all share just ONE connection. This is a HUGE win for the hotel.

> (For the sake of the argument, perhaps hotels exist that charge for
> calling-card calls... I haven't seen any... If so, would a hotel that is

so
> rude as to charge for 800 numbers be caught dead providing broadband for
> free?)


It's all a matter of balance. I'm sure somewhere there's a hotel manager
too stupid to realize that nickel-and-diming the customers for these things
is a bad idea. But just as there are far too many stupid manager, so too
are there enough customers gullible enough to go along with it.

-Bill Kearney

 
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BlueRinse
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      05-26-2005

> Are any hotel chains already doing this?


I'm pretty sure whole ISP in some countries are doing this! Further,
they'd love to do it in most places if they could get away with it, but
they can't for now.
 
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