FCC Proposes Detariffing Measures to Simplify Consumers’ Telephone Bills

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has proposed to eliminate tariffing of end user interstate access charges included on consumers’ local telephone bills. As consumers and businesses today have quickly moved away from traditional telephone service towards voice service options offered by providers of interconnected VoIP service and mobile and fixed wireless services, the FCC continues to regulate the end user charges associated with interstate access service offered by incumbent local exchange carriers (also known as Telephone Access Charges). In an effort to eliminate these outdated provisions and encourage competition, the FCC, in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), proposes to eliminate tariffing of all Telephone Access Charges, including: the Subscriber Line Charge, the Access Recovery Charge, the Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge, the Line Port Charge, and the Special Access Surcharge. The NPRM also proposes to modify the Commission’s truth-in-billing rules to prohibit carriers from assessing these Telephone Access Charges on customers’ bills separately to diminish any confusion that consumers may be facing when evaluating their telephone bills.

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