Traffic pumping, also known as access stimulation, is a controversial practice by which some local exchange telephone carriers in rural areas of the United States inflate the volume of incoming calls to their networks, and profit from the greatly increased intercarrier compensation fees to which they are entitled by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
, traffic pumping is the subject of an ongoing legal and regulatory dispute involving AT&T, Google Voice, rural phone carriers, and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
== How it works ==
Under the regulatory mechanisms of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, wireless, and long distance carriers (such as AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon) pay access fees to local exchange carriers (LECs) for calls to those carriers' local subscribers. Rural carriers are allowed by the FCC to charge substantially higher access fees (as high as 10-20 cents/minute) than carriers in more urban areas, based on the rationale that they must pay for substantial fixed infrastructure costs while handling lower call volume.〔〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Sprint Nextel fights ‘Traffic Pumping’ Schemes )〕
In order to increase their incoming call volume, and thereby fees owed, rural carriers partner with certain telephone service providers to route their calls through the rural carrier. These services typically include phone sex and conference call providers, which expect a high volume of incoming calls. Notably, these service providers do not need to establish a physical, local presence in order to route their calls in this way.〔〔〔 As a consequence of this arrangement, the rural carriers can receive millions of dollars of fees, which they then share with the ostensibly "local" service providers, who are responsible for vastly increasing call volume above typical rural usage.〔
Payment for inbound long distance calls to small rural telephone companies is normally handled through a shared pool, the National Exchange Carrier Association (“NECA”). Individual telcos are free to opt out of this process. For the first two years, they are then free to bill interexchange carriers directly at an initially-high rural rate of five to thirteen cents a minute.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=In the Matter of Qwest Communications Corporation, Complainant, v. Farmers and Merchants Mutual Telephone Company )〕 After two years the carrier either rejoins the NECA pool, provides evidence to support continuing to charge the high rural rate or reduces rates to a level that can be supported.〔. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2014-06-15.〕 A sudden increase in inbound calling volume at about the same time as a telephone company leaves the NECA pool therefore can represent a very profitable two years for that firm.
The numbers used will normally belong to a competitive local exchange carrier or independent telephone company and be located in a highly rural area code in one of a few sparsely-populated states, such as area code 218 in northern Minnesota or area code 712 in western Iowa.〔(is one example of a conference bridge using +1-218 Minnesota and +1-712 Iowa extensively. )〕
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』