[silk] A new Social Communication Network: Bellster

Udhay Shankar N udhay at pobox.com
Sun Jan 23 03:54:11 PST 2005

What a cool idea! I wonder if there's a business model or two lurking in


>this is an amazing extension of the idea initially implemented by
>tpc.int.  While I can't afford to give up any of my phone lines, getting a
>third line just for this purpose is not a bad idea.  Especially when it
>would be irritating as hell to the phone company.
>One could use Internet technology to reimplement 1960s Soviet/Third World
>country phone use enabling people from all over the world queue up to use
>a telephone.
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: [FWD] A new Social Communication Network: Bellster
>Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 08:42:28 -0500
>From: Jeff Pulver <jeff at pulver.com>
>Reply-To: Free World Dialup - The Future of Dialing
>Hi All,
>Back in the Fall of 1995, with the help of some friends, Free World Dialup
>(FWD) version 1.0 happened. The original concept was to setup a computer,
>modem and let a friend (or a stranger) place a call over the internet via
>your computer. This was done on an experimental, non-commercial, voluntary
>basis and we had quite a number of people who contributed their own time,
>effort and energy to make it work. FWD was the world's first internet
>telephony network and was a pioneer in the field of PC to Phone
>communication services.
>Back in November 2000 I once again looked at re-creating the spirit of the
>original FWD project but this time we tried to do it using the broadband
>internet. After several months of work we were able to get the underlying
>software to work pretty good, but our project became challenged once the
>hardware devices we optimized the software for, the Cisco ATA-182 were
>discontinued. We were live in beta in April 2001 when CNET ran the story:
>Can a peer-to-peer phone network fly? (see:
>Fast forward to January, 2005 and with the beta launch of Bellster.net we
>are finally able to offer a peer-to-peer network where members of the
>network can share their PSTN access with each other. This "network" will
>only become a network once there is a critical mass number of people who
>are contributing to the success of Bellster.
>Bellster is based on a couple of underlying philosophies:
>(1) "If you Build it They will Come" -- Field of Dreams
>(2) "The Love you Take is equal to the Love you Make" -- Beatles, "The
>The Bellster challenge for 2005 is to find out whether or not there are
>still people in the world who would let total strangers place
>non-commercial phone calls for free in exchange for the ability to do the
>same thing themselves. At the moment we have a handful of active nodes
>around the world, and as the word of Bellster spreads, my hope is that our
>network will be able to deliver calls to the PSTN all around the world.
>Bellster is based on Asterisk and operates as an IAX exchange.
>If you are interested in experimenting with Asterisk and would like to
>contribute to the Bellster Social Communication Network, please feel free
>to visit www.bellster.net for more information and sign up today.
>Best regards,
> Jeff
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((Udhay Shankar N)) ((udhay @ pobox.com)) ((www.digeratus.com))

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