Home » General Interest » Catch Me if You Can: The Race to Obtain Deemed Lawful Status By Jay Playter

Catch Me if You Can: The Race to Obtain Deemed Lawful Status By Jay Playter

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In mid-2005, Farmers Telephone of Riceville was a small, local telephone company serving the rural town of Riceville, Iowa.1 This small telephone company was struggling to maintain customers within its service areas as its traditional business customers migrated to larger, more-populated commercial districts.2 The company raced to update outdated technology, offered new and expanded services, and embarked on an extensive advertising campaign.3 Despite its best efforts, Farmers of Riceville only generated around 14 million minutes of telecommunications traffic for the entire year, amounting to approximately $74,253,000 in gross revenues.4

By January 2007, Farmers Telephone of Riceville was handling nearly 28 million minutes of telecommunications traffic per month.5 This boom in traffic was not the result of Farmers of Riceville dramatically expanding its service area or offering innovative technological services. Nor could the spectacular increase in minutes be attributed to an explosion in the population of Riceville.6 In fact, the increase in minutes was the result of Farmer’s provision of services to “customers”7 that did not even reside in Iowa.8 The enormous upsurge in minutes was a result of Farmer’s partnership with free conference calling companies and engaging in a practice known as “traffic pumping”9 within the telecommunications industry.10

Traffic pumping … Read the full text …

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