- In part one of
"The Fogging of America, we disclosed
"7¢ Anytime rate will actually cost the casual
a minute while MCI's "5¢ Any Dayrate is only good
and weekends. At all other times you'll be paying over 25¢
discussed how the break-up of "Ma Bell allowed
Bells to charge long distance carriers a fee for carrying
portion of long distance calls. We described how the 1996
Act replaced this per minute fee with three new
components: 1) a lower
per minute charge to the long distance carrier,
2) a flat fee charged to
the long distance carrier for connecting each
customer to the local lines,
and 3) a "Subscriber Line Charge
billed directly to every customer
by the "Baby Bells.
- We showed how the sum
of the first two components was
less than the original per minute
amount charged to the long distance carriers,
but after adding the
third leg, the "Subscriber Line Charge, the consumer
paying more for the same service.
- We disclosed how the long
distance carriers, in concert
with the "Baby Bells, are using new
terms such as "Federal Access
Fee, "National Access Fee, and
"Federal Line Charge to confuse
the public and disguise their rate
increases as "Federally Mandated
Taxes, when in fact, they are
neither taxes nor federally mandated.
- In this segment, we'll discuss
how still another fee
has been added to the consumer's phone bill, the
Universal Access Charge.
- In 1997, the FCC implemented rules to address that
of the 1996 Telecommunications Act mandating free or reduced
services for schools, libraries, rural health care
providers, high cost
rural areas, and the less fortunate. These FCC
rules are referred to as
the "Universal Service Order and direct
interstate long distance carriers
to fund this quest by paying a
Universal Access Fee (read TAX) based on
the total of their long
- When the Universal Access Fee was imposed in 1997, the
rate was just below 4% with provisions for quarterly adjustments
on projected demand. Today, after adding their "handling charges
to this fee, the long distance carriers pass it on to the consumer either
as a flat rate or as a percent of the users total long distance charges.
Depending on the carrier, this fee runs the gamut from 0% - 6.5%, and
of the variance and the arbitrary method in which it is passed
consumer, it should always be included in calculating exactly
you pay per minute for your long distance service.
- As you can see from
parts one and two of this report
, both the local and long distance
carriers have successfully used their
advertising dollars to convince
the public it is the Federal government,
not the carriers, who is
responsible for raising your phone bills. With
the exception of the
"Universal Access Fee, nothing could be further
from the truth.
The carriers, of course, are relying on your lack of time
to know otherwise.
- So how can you, the average citizen, cut through this
without wasting your precious time, time that should be used for other
things such as
- raising your children and
maintaining your home and your
- Well, the data is available
from a Management Consulting
firm who has provided much of the
information for this report. And no,
this hasn't been a sneaky way to
sell their services, but rather an opportunity
to let you review, free
of any charge, the same materials for which they
had been previously
charging corporate clients up to $500/quarter.
- Their website, Senitel
has taken the most popular and/or heavily advertised programs and
their advertised rates to include hidden charges.
By visiting www.senitel.com, you
will be able to see
at a glance the true rates charged under the
various plans. You can also
connect to any carrier's website for
- The next segment of "The Fogging will provide tips
and tricks for lowering your phone bill regardless if you do or do not
use long distance.
- This month's Impactnet is sponsored by Senitel Communications.
For 100% fiber optic long distance at 5.9 cents/minute from a TOP TIER
carrier, visit http://www.senitel.com.
This IS NOT
a teaser rate and is good 24 hours/day, seven days/week with
minimums, no signup charges, or other hidden costs.
- The Impact Voters of America
and their Impact Networks
focus on better government. Join us by
completing the simple application
at http://www.impactnet.org. It
doesn't cost a cent!
- Our email list has now grown to over 18,000. If you
this post as forwarded information and wish to become part of
list, send your name and email address to: