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Skype changes "Fair Usage Policy" to stop businesses from being too cheap...

skype_logo.pngOver on his new "Voice on the Web" blog, Jim Courtney outlines some changes Skype has recently made to their Fair Usage Policy. This subject came up on the "Skype 4.x" public Skype chat hosted by Skype Journal and in the discussion it appeared to most of us that what Skype is really trying to do is to:
eliminate businesses making tons of calls on cheap monthly subscriptions.

The idea for the business is simple really... get Skype... get one of the cheap monthly plans and start dialling a zillion numbers for your business. Made even easier if you use one of the various appliances these days that let you do "Skype trunks" from an existing PBX or other call server.

The new "Fair Usage Policy" makes these changes:

  • calling to a maximum of 50 numbers per day
  • maximum six (6) hours of SkypeOut calling per day
  • each subscription is to be used by one person only and not to be shared with any other user (whether by a PBX, call center, computer or any other means).

As Jim's post discusses, there are a number of caveats and other points to this (for instance, you can call the same number repeatedly and not have it impact the 50 call limit).

Note, too, that if you exceed your "fair usage" limit, your calls are not stopped but rather you start paying for calls on a per-minute basis (assuming you have SkypeCredit).

It's understandable to see Skype making this move. Infrastructure is not cheap and obviously they have to figure out how to pay for it all. Still, it will be interesting to see what if any reaction there is from existing customers.

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