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1) How To Protest Local ISDN Tariffs AND

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Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 11:08:43 -0500 (EST)
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Reply-To: love@essential.org
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From: James Love <love@essential.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list <tap-info@essential.org>
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On Thu, 4 Apr 1996, Giorgio Gomelsky wrote:
Am personally very willing to help similar action in New York if there
are other ISDNers in NY to connect to or collaborate with, please instruct.
We have hired Todd Paglia, a lawyer, to provide free legal assistance
to consumers who want to challenge local ISDN tariffs. His email is
tpaglia@tap.org, his phone is 202/387-8030. Basically, if a tariff is
pending, its a case of filing comments for the record (as many as
possible), and talking with the PUC staff and the local consumer advocate.
Things that have been quite effective are giving out copies of the
various intel filings, Scott Rafferty's Delaware testimony, the NRRI
ISDN cost study, some of our (CPT) pleadings, and the CPT survey of tariffs.
The comments also need to make it concrete why ISDN is important to
people, and how the high prices hurt consumers and infomation services
If there is no tariff pending, then Todd needs to find out the proceedure
for petitioning the agency for a review of the tariff. this is quite
different from state to state. but we would love to get something going
in NYC.
It is also important to get industry groups involved. Intel and Compaq
have made a huge impact in several US West states..., and in New Mexico
and Arizona there are broad information industry coalitions involved..
This is pretty powerful stuff for the PUCs..
Send Todd a note if you want to proceed. These things work best when
the local consumers are truly active and involved, setting up local web
pages on the tariff battle, making calls to Commission staff and local
newspapers, etc...
.... jamie June 26, 1996 ISDN pricing in Bell Atlantic States - CPT sets up Web page for Bell Atlantic Consumers at: http://www.essential.org/cpt/isdn/bellnews.html - Maryland Accepts comments on ISDN rates by electronic mail (ISDN@psc.state.md.us) and sets public hearing for July 3. Additional details about battles in other Bell Atlantic States. Bell Atlantic consumers in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia have an opportunity to fight for lower residential ISDN tariffs, if you act swiftly. [Virginia already has an open docket on residential ISDN pricing, and filings in West Virginia are expected soon]. In Maryland, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has agreed to accept comments on the issue by electronic mail, at: ISDN@psc.state.md.us. Maryland is also giving the public an opportunity to be heard at a public hearing on July 3. Commissions in NJ, PA and DC have declined to provide a public hearing on the tariffs, or to accept comments by electronic mail, but they will accept written comments. CPT has set up a Bell Atlantic ISDN Action page on the Web with information about the proceedings at: http://www.essential.org/cpt/isdn/bellnews.html BACKGROUND Briefly, Bell Atlantic (BA) is asking for tariffs which are based upon the amount of time that you use the ISDN connection, and this can add up. A "BRI" ISDN line gives you two 64 Kbps "B" channels, which can be "bonded" into a fast 128 Kbps connection (referred to as 2B). You can also use BRI ISDN as two separate voice or fax lines, with multiple telephone numbers, or the line can be dynamically configured on the fly. BA is asking for 2 cents per minute (per B channel)from 7 am to 7 pm, or 1 cent per minute from 7 pm to 7 am. If you use the faster 128 Kbps connection (isn't' the point of ISDN to have a faster connection?), it would cost from $2.40 to $1.20 per hour to make a local call to your Internet service provider (ISP). BA also offers "callpack" options, where the consumer can pre-purchase blocks of time at large discounts. For example, one could buy the 140 hours callpack for $60 per month. This would allow a user to have 70 hours at 128 Kbps (or 140 hours at 64 Kpbs). But you have to pay for the time even if you don't use it, and if you go over, you are stuck with the hefty per-minute fees. The BA flat rate option is a whopping $249 per month, the most expensive in the United States. The BA tariffs are not inevitable. Quite a few states have adopted much lower residential ISDN tariffs. Highly relevant is the recent decision by the Delaware PSC approving a flat rate residential ISDN tariff of $28.02, about $221 less than the rate requested by Bell Atlantic. In Arkansas, the Northern Arkansas Telephone Company charges only $17.90 per month, flat rate, for residential ISDN service. In California, the Roseville Telephone Company charges $29.50 for residential ISDN. Four of the five Midwest states served by Ameritech offer ISDN at a little more than twice the POTS rate with no per minute charges (Illinois $28.05 to $34.50, Ohio $32.20, Michigan $33.51, and Wisconsin $30.90). In Tennessee, BellSouth charges $25 to $29 for flat rate ISDN. In New Mexico, the Commission recently approved a $40 flat rate. You can get a better Bell Atlantic ISDN tariff if you fight now! The most important immediate thing is to get comments into the record in opposition to the BA filing, and to ask for lower rates. It is also helpful to call up the Commission in your state and talk to the staff person who is assigned to the issue. In addition to the Bell Atlantic ISDN Action page (http://www.essential.org/cpt/isdn/bellnews.html), you might find these links helpful. CPT's ISDN pricing talking points: http://www.essential.org/cpt/isdn/isdntalk.html Fred Goldstein's ISDN pricing talking points. http://www.essential.org/cpt/isdn/fred.txt James Love (love@tap.org/202-387-8030 Consumer Project on Technology http://www.essential.org/cpt ------------------------------------------------------------ INFO-POLICY-NOTES is a free Internet newsletter. Subscriptions from listproc@essential.org. Archives at http://www.essential.org/listproc/info-policy-notes/ Materials may be redisseminated widely on the Internet. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
James Love / love@tap.org / P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
Voice: 202/387-8030; Fax 202/234-5176
Center for Study of Responsive Law
Consumer Project on Technology; http://www.essential.org/cpt
Taxpayer Assets Project; http://www.tap.org
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