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Telephone Calls

BUSINESS
February 20, 2006 | From Associated Press
Businesses and individuals continue to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes each year on some long-distance telephone calls even though three federal courts say the levy is invalid. Companies have convinced the appeals courts that the 3% excise tax on local, long-distance and wireless calls does not apply to some current long-distance billing plans. The tax dates to 1898, when telephones were a luxury and lawmakers needed money to help pay for the Spanish-American War.
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BUSINESS
February 19, 2006 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
The problem with free calls over the Internet is that you have to be at your computer to make them. You can't be cooking, driving, operating heavy machinery or doing the thousands of other things we do while chatting on the phone. But a new device called the VoSky Call Center allows you to make free Internet calls from any phone in your house -- even your cellphone.
NATIONAL
December 25, 2005 | From Associated Press
President Bush on Saturday telephoned nine U.S. service members at their posts from Japan to the Persian Gulf to recognize their service to the nation and wish them holiday cheer. Placing the calls from his mountaintop presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., Bush talked to eight men and one woman, a Coast Guard member stationed in the Persian Gulf. "The president wished them a Merry Christmas and thanked them for their service to our country," said White House spokesman Allen Abney.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2005 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
Skype Technologies, the Luxemburg company famous for its free Internet telephone calls, last week launched an update that brings us closer to an elusive technological dream: the videophone. The Skype 2.0 software offers the ability to see as well as hear computer-to-computer callers -- provided that both parties have webcams. Video chats, as part of instant messaging services such as one sponsored by Yahoo Inc.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
AT&T Corp. and Microsoft Corp. will work together to create Internet-based telephone products to gain corporate customers, while Internet-access provider EarthLink Inc. said it would sell phone service to consumers. AT&T will integrate Microsoft products into its voice over Internet protocol, or VOIP, network. Customers will be able to forward calls, check messages and launch Web conferences using Microsoft Office software, a spokeswoman said.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2005 | James S. Granelli and Chris Gaither, Times Staff Writers
America Online Inc. on Tuesday jumped into the local telephone market, announcing a service for making calls over the Internet. AOL, the world's No. 1 Internet service provider, said it would offer the service using voice over Internet protocol, or VOIP, to its 22.2 million U.S. subscribers within a month and to nonsubscribers later.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2005 | From Associated Press
In a first-of-its-kind penalty, a telephone company will pay $15,000 to settle allegations that it blocked phone lines that customers used to make calls over the Internet, federal regulators said. Madison River Communications also must not block Internet calls in the future, according to the Melbane, N.C.-based company's settlement with the Federal Communications Commission. The company did not admit to violating any rules.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
AT&T Corp. may be forced to pay as much as $500 million in fees on prepaid telephone calling cards after regulators rejected the company's arguments that it should be exempt, people familiar with the matter said Friday. The Federal Communications Commission ruled that the cards are a telecommunications service subject to fees, said the people, who asked not to be named. AT&T said the cards provided an "enhanced" service not covered by regulation.
NATIONAL
December 29, 2004 | From Associated Press
The House ethics committee will investigate Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) to determine whether he violated standards of conduct when an illegally recorded telephone conversation was leaked to reporters during a committee investigation. Committee Chairman Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) and ranking Democrat Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia formed a four-member investigative subcommittee Tuesday to investigate the 1997 incident.
BUSINESS
November 27, 2004 | From Reuters
The Federal Communications Commission will keep a close watch on SBC Communications Inc.'s new connection charge for calls made over the Internet, FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell said Friday. Powell said a new service from SBC to connect Internet calls from other phone companies to its local network shouldn't be used to force higher charges on voice over Internet protocol services.
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