The battle between Cingular/AT&T Wireless and various users of the Iowa Hack has opened on a new front. AT&T has started blocking access from its subscribers to phone numbers belonging to FreeConference.com. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel has been widely quoted as saying the action is appropriate because under its wireless terms of service agreements AT&T’s wireless service is for calls “between one person and another person, not between one person and many.” I haven't been able to find that language on AT&T's web site, not have I seen any links to it. I think most of AT&T's subscribers would be surprised to find that they were prohibited from using their phones to make conference calls.
Siegal also admitted that AT&T objected to companies such as FreeConference.com making use of an anomaly in the FCC-mandated termination charges that allow rural carriers in states such as Iowa to charge several times the average rate for connecting calls from AT&T to subscribers (or partners such as FreeConference).
FreeConference is not taking this sitting down. The company, which also does business as Global Conference Partners LLC and FreeConferenceCalls.com has filed a lawsuit (1:07-cv-00574-PLF) in the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that AT&T has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Communications Act, by not connecting the calls or paying for the calls it has connected.
Meanwhile Free Conferencing Corp, creators of FreeConferenceCall.com (not to be confused with FreeConferenceCalls.com), has been alerting bloggers to the opening of its own blog which says that they, too, have been cut off by both Cingular and Sprint.