Free World Dialup
|Industry||Voice over IP|
|Fate||defunct, domain was advertising siptosip.net in 2010, is now reassigned|
|Defunct||2008 (free service), 2010 (paid version)|
FWD (originally Free World Dialup) was a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network and business venture owned by Pulver.com, Inc. and founded in 1994 by Jeff Pulver, Brandon Lucas, and Izak Jenie. It appears to have ceased operations in 2010
The service provided voice communications between its subscribers worldwide, based on Internet standards. Limited inter-connections to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) provided users the ability to receive direct-dialed calls from PSTN-landline users, as well as place calls to toll-free numbers in the United States and other countries.
Pursuant to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on February 12, 2004, the Wireline Competition Bureau considered FWD to be an information service rather than a telecommunications service. This ruling followed a petition by Pulver.com on February 5, 2003 seeking a declaration of this nature. A similar petition by AT&T remains under consideration.
On September 27, 2005, the company changed its name from Free World Dialup to FWD. A servicemark for the new name was granted on April 20, 2004. According to the registration record, the servicemark was not an acronym: the letters stood for nothing at all.
FWD was connected to other VoIP networks by IPeerX, a VoIP peering company which spun off from FWD. Pulver sold IPeerX to Xconnect in 2006;. By 2009, Free World Dialup had closed open enrollment of new members "to focus on HD content and services".
On August 8, 2008, the company announced they would charge a $30 (US) annual membership fee. Following the implementation of a membership fee the service ran into technical issues eventually resulting in it going offline completely.
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps was quoted as stating the following upon the FCC decision to characterize FWD's service as an information service: "Despite attempts to characterize this Order as limited to the specific facts of Pulver.com's FWD, I am concerned that the decision speaks much more expansively. By deciding the statutory classification of Pulver.com's service as an interstate information service, the Order raises a host of questions about the continuing relevance of those most fundamental telecommunications policy objectives that Congress has entrusted to this Commission."
- "FCC Rules on Pulver's Free World Dialup VOIP Service". Tech Law Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2005.
- "Free World Dialup renamed to FWD". The Jeff Pulver Blog. Retrieved November 13, 2005.
- "XConnect Takes Out Pulver's IPeerX". Light Reading. 2006-09-12.
- "Why SIP to SIP VoIP?". Free World Dialup. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
Free World Dialup closed open enrollment for SIP registration and membership in order to focus on High Definition (HD) VoIP content and services.
- "In the Matter of Petition for Declaratory Ruling that pulver.com’s Free World Dialup is Neither Telecommunications Nor a Telecommunications Service" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. 2004-02-04. Retrieved 2015-04-28.