How do VPN's factor into long distance fees?

(Radio Jed) #1

Here is a hypothetical situation:
You are in Greece, you set up a PBX server in the USA with a USA trunk.
You then set up a VPN on another US server and route the traffic to the VPN.
Will you be charged long distance fees for making calls through the VPN?
My guess would be no but I’m not entirely sure. I’m more interested in learning how the system works then making discounted long distance calls.
Can someone explain why this would or would not work?

(David55) #2

I’m not sure what you mean by VPN. Do you mean a virtual private network, i.e. where a LAN is effectively extended over encrypted public links, but looks like a single LAN to most equipment on it, or do you mean a commercial offering, e.g. NordVPN, probably based on the underlying technology behind the former, but, but doing something like anonymising, or breaking government restrictions, rather than extending a corporate network.

In all cases, I’d normally expect the ITSP to charge based on where their connection to the PSTN was, although I couldn’t rule out that they might treat calls that were network address translated into the public network close to them more favourably.

In the true VPN case, the only additional costs for the VPN would be those involved in the public network connections over which the encrypted connections were carried. Some ISPs might charge. (I’m assuming IP telephony here, an old style VPNs over the PSTN would involve significant costs.)

For some commercial service, with VPN in the name, all bets are off.

Although I say encrypted, VPNs don’t have to involve encryption. Generally IP ones always do and PSTN based ones don’t.

(Radio Jed) #3

I’m referring to the first case, thought I believe commercial VPN’s use the same technology.
I should have gone into more detail about the VPN.

I set up an OpenVPN server to act as a proxy in the USA, set up the PBX server in the USA, set up a USA trunk and purchase a USA DID, set the inbound route for the DID to an extension then in Greece connect a softphone to the extension behind the USA VPN.

Theoretically, you now have a USA number that rings a phone in Greece, but from the network view all connections are in the USA since calls are originating and terminating at the VPN.

Or is the VPN completely redundant? Does the ITSP lose track of where the call is going once the call enters your PBX? Writing this has made me realize I know a lot less then I thought I did starting out.
I’m making the assumption that:
ITSP’s need to connect to a PBX server local to them to provide local calling.
ITSP’s track and bill calls based on where the caller is geographically.
Are these both correct?

(Jared Busch) #4

I think you need to do more reading about how calling work in general.

The IP, country, host location, etc all have nothign to do with anything.

I can have a PBX on a Vultr host in Japan using a SIP trunk from Skyetel with only US numbers, and end user phones in Greece, if I want.

(Radio Jed) #5

If this is true how are long distance fees determined?
I know this is something you can do I feel like you should be hitting some kind of international calling fee. If not why doesn’t everyone do this so we no longer have long distance fees?

(Jared Busch) #6

I told you.

(Radio Jed) #7

I don’t know of any books or websites that have this kind of information.
Have any recommendations?


Generally anybody you “buy” phone calls from, will have a list of costs you incur depending on the number you dial using their service. It doesn’t compute any network “distance” between the two
“endpoints” as part of that cost.

(Radio Jed) #9

So your saying the price you pay for phonecall is entirely determined by the DID?
I can have a PBX server in Japan, connecting to lines in Greece, with a USA DID/Trunk, and anyone who calls that USA DID will pay the US rate based on the callers service plan and my SIP trunk providers USA rate?


Actually, Everyone here is saying exactly that the price you pay for phonecall is entirely determined by the DID . . . based on the callers service plan

(Radio Jed) #11

Ok thanks. It’s kind of crazy how that works.

(David55) #12

Not really, as far as the ITSP is concerned. They are charging based on what it costs them.

The only crazy thing is that the overwhelming majority of internet traffic isn’t charged based on the resources used to convey it, as it is the internet capacity that is used to reach the ITSP that is the real excess costs here. Of course both internet and phone system capacity cost a lot less than when long distance phone charges were first set.

(system) closed #13

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