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All circuits are busy now, please try your call again later

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

I’ve been asked to participate in a conference call and the host has given me some 712-432-xxxx number to dial-in to. Ah Iowa in the winter time, best to make a phone call versus an actual visit. The telephone number for the conference call belongs to Great Lakes Communication based in Lake Park, Iowa population 1,000.

Great Lakes has sadly found itself in the middle of a huge controversy related to ‘net neutrality with the likes of Google and AT&T standing about them. Seems Great Lakes has had a cozy business being a “traffic pumper”. Basically, hosting any number of call in services like free conference services in which thousands of people call in using their 712 telephone numbers. You and I as the participant only pay our normal long distance charge (often 0 in this world of unlimited calling). But your telephone company is supposed to pay Great Lakes anyway from$0.05 to $0.10 a minute to take the call.

So Great Lakes is screwing over the likes of AT&T and Verizon, good for them. I’m getting free conferencing for the moment so let them figure it out and when they do give me a ring how about it.

But I discovered a problem, free conferencing only works if you can actually reach the number. So for about 15 minutes I tried today to call one of the 712 numbers to reach the conference bridge. Each time I got a recording “All Circuits are Busy Now, please try your call again later!” About 20 minutes in, I finally got thru and life was good again.

It would seem that either AT&T or Verizon are limiting the number of calls they’re sending to these pirates or the pirates treasure chest is so overflowing, they can’t take any more calls. Free conferencing is a great idea for teenage party line, but for a business call, I’d rather not burn 15 minutes of my time dialing numbers to save a $1 on what a normal conference call might have charged.