Tue, 26 Apr 88 12:36:18 EDT
You may have left out the most interesting fact: Reverse-charging was not
available for international public packet-switching nets. So far as I know,
it still is not available.
Consider how the various carriers collect charges in the case of a call
placed to a ship at sea. The landside originator pays (1) the landline
segment from point of origin to coastal radio station (possibly international),
(2) the radio station usage itself and (3) the ship radio station usage.
Any or all three charges may be payable to operators in different countries.
While payable in different currencies, all charges must be expressable
in Swiss Francs; however, the caller may pay his local carrier in the currency
of origin, so you can see there may be lots of Swiss francs floating around
for each call. Once a year the various countries settle their accounts with
each other (in Swiss francs). If everything works right (your "wash" rule),
very little currency actually has to change hands. If a balance-of-Swiss-
francs is not preserved, some carrier, station or ship may need to invest
some capital to correct the imbalance.
Here's another one: venerable coastal station WLO (Mobile, AL) operates
a high-seas radio bulletin board/mail relay using SITOR (semi-reliable HF
radio link protocol) which, presumably, can relay onward via landline to
domestic destinations. To the above we add volume charges, selection of
domestic carrier and mailbox system charges.
I submit this community may not be the first to squarely face the charging
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