AT&T to Pass Universal Service Charge to Consumers : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

AT&T to Pass Universal Service Charge to Consumers

Wednesday, December 27, 2000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Corp. (T.N) said on Wednesday it would pass to consumers an increase in fees the carrier must pay the government to subsidize phone service in rural areas and hook up schools to the Internet, among other things.

The nation's largest long-distance telephone company said it would charge consumers 9.9 percent of their total long-distance and international calls to cover payments to the so-called universal service fund, up from 8.6 percent.

The Federal Communications Commission said on Dec. 8 it proposed collecting about $1.3 billion in fees from telephone companies during the first quarter of 2001, up from about $1.2 billion expected during the current quarter.

The charge will begin on Jan. 1, 2001, the New York-based carrier said in a tariff filing with the FCC.

The FCC was not immediately available for comment.

Shares of AT&T fell 3/4 to $16-13/16 on the New York Stock Exchange in late-afternoon trading.

-- Martin Thompson (, December 27, 2000

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