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thirdlane's picture
Joined: 2007/02/07
Points: 530

Which billing solution would I recommend is a question i am asked almost daily.

The answer usually is - it depends on the requirements, budget, etc. We don't provide "one size fits all" billing - there is no such thing IMHO. Instead Thirdlane is open for integration and is known to be deployed with various billing solutions - open source or commercial.

That said, I just spoke with Erik Smith (eeman) about his experience using Voip Innovation's hosted billing. What I did not know is that it is possible to use their billing without being a trunking customer.

This could be a good option in some cases, and I am sure Erik could help with the setup if needed - right Erik?

eeman's picture
Joined: 2007/11/06
Points: 290

Yes, their hosted billing is capable of processing asterisk CDR from an external source. In fact I don't collect their CDR source for the inbound calls they do manage for me, since all my calls route through a single asterisk gateway server anyway. I collect all my CDR off my gateway server and process it for billing.

As someone who has been told by the FCC that we now have to file quarterly 499Q in addition to the 499A, as well as someone who was told we are no longer deminimus; we recently had to revise the billing platform to better account for Intrastate versus Interstate/International. For those unaware, the FCC considers Safe Harbor for interconnected VoIP to be 64.9%. What does this mean?

In 2008 the FCC viewed interconnected VoIP through the narrow scope of Vonage and determined that for a call plan (say $30/mo), 65% of ALL CALLS (sum of inbound and outbound) was INTERSTATE traffic. This means that for the $30 plan, 64.9% of that was subject to the quarterly USF fee (currently 16.7%) This essentially means that $19.47 is subject to a 16.7% Tax (err Fee) or $3.30 per line. Additionally the TRS will also hit you for another 1.8% tax based on your 499A filings.

However, the USF is only allowed to collect on INTERSTATE calling. So in order to reduce this 65% 'safe harbor' to a real amount, a traffic study is needed. With a traffic study, you may find that only 14% of your total call volume was actually Interstate traffic. As long as you can submit an valid justification of your adjusted 'contribution amount', you can adjust your fee's accordingly. Additionally if you charge on a per-call basis (perhaps overages on included minutes or flat per minute rates to some customers) it seems terrible to subject every single call to 16.7% tax when only Interstate traffic is supposed to get taxed. This was some of the recent changes I had to implement in their billing so that my calls get rated accordingly.

Erik Smith
Thirdlane/Asterisk Support available

matthewmalk248's picture
Joined: 2015/08/09
Points: 30

VoIP innovations hosted billing by DTH made our lives so much easier. For $50 a month and $1 per invoice, there's nothing that compares in my opinion. Especially since you can set up regional taxation based on service address. Also the automated cdr grabs for Asterisk, netsapien, and sansay come in very handy. That's my plug for the day :)

carlosmp's picture
Joined: 2017/03/07
Points: 0

They've changed their pricing, and to get CDRs from other systems and the taxation, it's now $500/mo...

admin@pbxlines.com's picture
Joined: 2015/01/04
Points: 0

Does VoIP Innovations also collect CDRs from different SIP Trunk Providers?

If you have more than 10+ SIP Trunking Providers on the list to provide best possible LCR to your customers, how do you connect VI Hosted Billing? And obviously a security concerns along with it?

Any suggestions?

Best Regards,
Burak Karabal