BellSouth Adds New Fee To Pay For The Non-Fee They No Longer Need To Collect

from the please-explain-this-one dept

Remember Verizon's doublespeak efforts in explaining their new extra fee for DSL subscribers this week? This was their new "supplier surcharge," which is almost exactly the same as the now ended Universal Service Fee (USF). It turns out the fact that the amounts are nearly the same and one ends just as the other begins is a mere coincidence. BellSouth, on the other hand, couldn't even be bothered to pretend that any new fee is unrelated to the end of the USF. They've announced that they'll just keep on charging the exact same amount on everyone's bill and will pocket it. It won't even be called a "supplier surcharge" either. They're not even trying to hide it. BellSouth is calling it a "regulatory cost recovery fee," which is what they used to call it as well. Of course, there's no more regulation, so there's no more regulatory cost to recover. So, how does BellSouth explain that? Well, you see, it's "to offset costs incurred in complying with regulatory obligations and other expenses. The fee also recovers costs associated with additional systems necessitated by federal regulation, as well as costs associated with monitoring, participating in and complying with regulatory proceedings, and other network and servicing requirements." I've read that twenty times already, and I still don't know what they're saying, other than they don't really care, they just want to keep the money. The article also notes that when the telcos lobbied to be let out from having to pay into the USF system on DSL, part of the argument was that it would benefit consumers -- when the reality is that these two telcos have used it as an opportunity to shaft consumers. The article does point out that neither AT&T nor Qwest are continuing the fee, but that could always change once they see what their friends are doing.

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  1. icon
    Lonny Paul (profile), 25 Aug 2006 @ 8:32pm

    Are you kidding me?

    These guys are crazy. First of all, how can anyone within any regulatory power say, okay, well, you demand we end the collection of the USF, but it's okay for you to continue to gauge the consumer? NO!

    I've been irked about paying that USF charge for years- it's stupid, it's not like we really have rural areas where consumers need served and there aren't adequate facilities in place. The telcos are equally involved as any municipal agency in residential zoning expansion and any new construction is on the top of everyone's list, trying to be that single provider within the home for all things, broadband, phone service and television.

    A BellSouth representative said they have been testing DSL at speeds of 24Mbps for about a year now, allowing them to carry their new television signal into our homes.

    Why haven't they?

    Also, if Fiber to the curb has been their goal for the last 5-10 years, why was my home, constructed just over three years ago still on POS copper, and better yet, can't even get the highest speed dsl. C'mon guys. You'd think living across from the Doral Country Club there would be ample services to those who live here. They would tend to spend more, I'd think.

    BellSouth, c'mon! Be fair, you pretty much own everything now anyway (Welll, MA AT&T).

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