FCC is not looking for comments on ISPs & Access Charges (fwd)

David V. Rogers dvrogers@seas.gwu.edu
Tue, 20 Jan 1998 19:52:39 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 09:29:19 -0400
From: Dick Rucker <rrucker@macconnect.com>
Subject: FCC is not looking for comments on ISPs & Access Charges 


Long distance carriers now pay per-minute "access charges" to local
telephone companies for the use of their subscriber hookups, but Internet
service providers (ISPs) do not since they are considered "end users" and
not "carriers".

Some telephone companies have argued that since ISPs use the local
companies for customer access just as long distance carriers do, they
should be subject to the same "per minute" charges.

It was reported at our last QCWA chapter meeting that the FCC may be
seeking public comment on this question.  In checking the FCC's web site


I discovered that this report is inaccurate.  Here's the scoop:


This fact sheet offers informal guidance on an issue that has generated
a great deal of public interest. For more specific details about the
proceedings currently before the Commission, please visit our web site

In December 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requested
public comment on issues relating to the charges that Internet Service
Providers (ISPs) and similar companies pay to local telephone companies.
On May 7, 1997, the FCC decided to leave the existing rate structure in
place. In other words, the FCC decided not to allow local telephone
companies to impose per-minute access charged on ISPs.

Please Note: There is no open comment period in this proceeding. If you
have recently seen a message on the Internet stating that in response to
a request from local telephone companies, the FCC is requesting comments
to <isp@fcc.gov> by February 1998, be aware that this information is

The FCC issued an unrelated public notice, DA 98-2, on January 5, 1998
in connection with a report to Congress on universal service. Pursuant
to the FCC's 1998 appropriations legislation, the Commission must submit
a report by April 10, 1998 on several issues including the legal status
of Internet services under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Comments
in response to the public notice are due January 20, 1998, and reply
comments are due February 2, 1998. Informal comments may be sent by
email to <usreport@fcc.gov>.