From Niche Player To Phone Jack Of All Trades

The telephone bypass business has been a tidy little moneymaker for almost a decade. The so-called competitive access providers (CAPs) connect companies in major cities directly to long-distance carriers at rates as much as 15% lower than the local phone company. They'll rack up sales of some $500 million this year, but that accounts for only 0.2% of all local calls. Which may explain why the 50 or so bypass companies don't garner much notice in the hype-happy telecom world.

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