I have spent the entire day reporting for a story I am currently working on. But between calls I managed to get a handle on the latest attempt by Bells to part us from our hard earned dollars. It is happening in the guise of what is called ICF or “intercarrier compensation forum.” Great night time reading especially if you don’t have a Serta mattress. Forbes says that long distance and local phone companies will slash the access charges long distance companies pay to local networks if FCC allows them to raise monthly phone bills for consumers. Supports include erstwhile enemies, MCI, AT&T and all the Bells.
“Regulations allow regional phone companies to charge customers a basic fee of $6.50 for each telephone line. The proposal would allow companies to boost that fee to $10 over the next four years,” Forbes writes. In plain speak, the Baby Bells are proposing an increase in FCC subscriber line charge and the universal service fees on both your phone and broadband connections.
Why are long distance companies playing ball? Well they will be out of the game anyway and if they can hang on to some revenue for another few years, they will be happy to “sleep with the enemy.” The bells are going to use this to build a slush fund which is going to finance the big fiber build-out and ensure that “other people’s money” is used to maintain their monopoly. Anyway want to get a complete lowdown, go to
TeleTruth which talks about insanity of broadband taxes.
As America talks about speeding up broadband deployment, another troubling point in this proposal is that there are increases to Universal Service and Broadband will be seriously taxed. For example “Non-switched, dedicated network connections with capacity of at least 1.5mbps but less than 45mbps are assessed 5 units” —- five times the charge for a residential line. (The documents do not explain how much a “unit” is.). Thus, a phone line will not only have a major increase for DSL, but the faster you go, the more you get taxed.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell talks about competition, and falling prices. He does not like to talk about the fact that cost of local services has gone up, not down. He does not talk about how this cabal is rigging the game against the US consumer. I pay $8.95 a month in phone charges to SBC because i need a line for DSL and for something you would not believe – to buzz the chinese food delivery guy through the front door. And now I might have to pay an extra three bucks a month for the privilege of getting tele-marketers during dinner.