http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/telecom/internet/the-end-of-free-conference-calls/ The End of Free Conference Calls? Ever wonder how those free phone-conferencing services in the United States make money? They figured out a way to exploit laws put into place to ensure that residents of rural areas with sparse populations wouldn’t be left without phone service. But now the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has changed the rules regarding call-termination fees, effectively dismantling the predominant free-conferencing business model. No longer will local phone companies that receive government subsidies for completing long distance calls split the money with the services that drive traffic to them. Will new, software-based conferencing replace the free services before we’re left, well, paying for our conference calls?