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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Verizon, BellSouth ISPs Ripping Off Their Subscribers With Bogus Extra Fees

FROM: Verizon, BellSouth replace USF fees with new ones
ArsTechnica, 8/23/2006 11:43:29 AM, by Anders Bylund

"As DSL lines became exempt from the Universal Service Fund (USF) charge last week, Baby Bells Verizon and BellSouth are replacing the fee with other ones of almost the same amount. Both companies claim to have their reasons, while consumer groups are crying foul.

The USF was created in the late 19th century as a way to ensure fair pricing for telephone services across rural and urban areas.

The FCC ruled to deregulate DSL last year, reclassifying DSL as an information service rather than a communications service. That removes DSL from the purview of the USF and the surcharge will no longer be collected.

BellSouth will simply keep its $2.97 monthly fee, and keep calling it a "regulatory cost recovery fee." The company says that the fee goes to cover the cost of complying with federal regulations in general. But a spokeswoman for Consumers Union says that "BellSouth is clearly misrepresenting what the fee will pay for. I mean how can this be a 'regulatory cost recovery' when DSL is no longer regulated?" And I'm wondering, if regulation compliance cost that much, how was this expense handled while that surcharge went to the USF?"



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloody hell. Yet another depressing sign of corporate depravity.

10:38 a.m., August 25, 2006


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