No Internet Long Distance
Phone Charges! -
FCC Chairman Kennard
Note - The following are answers from FCC Chairman William E. Kennard to
questions about the action taken by the FCC on 2-25-99 concerning
reciprocal compensation for dial-up internet traffic.
Q: Has the FCC opened the door to Internet charges?
A: Absolutely not. The FCC has reconfirmed the Internet's exemption.
Consumers will see no new charges on their Internet or phone bills.
Q: Are we going to see new long distance charges to connect to the
A: Rumors have been spread by some people, but these rumors are false. The
FCC will not impose long distance charges for dialing up the Internet.
Q: Is there any way that local phone companies will be able to start
imposing usage-sensitive access charges to Internet service providers?
A: No. The exemption from long distance access charges is solid as a rock
and has been upheld in court.
Q: The FCC will not allow long distance charges for local calls to the
internet. But has the FCC made it easier for states to impose long distance
charges for local calls to the Internet?
A: No. States have no power to impose long distance charges. Only the FCC
can do that, and we declared our jurisdiction over this traffic.
Q: What changes can consumers expect to see as the result of this decision
-- in the short run, and in the long run?
A: Consumers should see no changes in their Internet or phone bills,
either in the short run or long run, as a result of this Order. The big
picture in the long run is very positive -- our continued "hands off"
policy towards the Internet will allow it to continue growing rapidly,
unfettered by regulations.
Q: How will Internet providers react to this Order? Will this be good for
business or bad for business?
A: It's good for business and consumers. We have clarified how companies
pay each other for this traffic and we have done so in a way that prohibits
the assessment of long distance charges. This can only help consumers.
Q: Why were so many negative rumors spread around?
A: The Internet has become extremely important to a lot of people in the
last few years. We get letters every week from people for whom access to
the Internet has opened up whole new
possibilities for business, social service, and life. The very idea of
paying long-distance-type charges for hours web surfing naturally produces
great anxiety. Therefore these rumors tend to spring up anytime the FCC
does anything related to long distance service.