TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: In NY, ILEC Wireline Rates May Go Up Due to Competition!

In NY, ILEC Wireline Rates May Go Up Due to Competition!

John Stahl (
Fri, 17 Mar 2006 22:15:55 -0500

(Compiled from various sources)

The current flap here in New York State as reported by the news media
with regards to Verizon and ILEC wireline phone rates is that they
have petitioned the PSC to eliminate the lowest cost service which
gives per call charge for outgoing calls and unlimited incoming calls
plus access to 911.

According to the 3/16/06 article in the Binghamton Press, authored by
Michael Gromley of the Associated Press: "... The proposal would
simply give the companies the option to increase their base fee, in
increments of $5 per year. The basic service now costs $8.61 and
provides access to incoming calls, 911 dispatchers and long-distance
carriers. The proposal would raise that to $24.95, but would include
unlimited local calls. Customers with the current basic service are
charged added fees for local calls ..."

With all of the "fees" and taxes, the current "lifeline" service
($8.61 base) cost is almost $20./month. Allowing the rates to go up
(the article reasons that "... The state commission that regulates
traditional telephone companies said the companies are being squeezed
by the rise in Internet services such as Vonage and cable telephone
services. Internet and cable phone services are regulated federally
and aren't required by the state to provide a basic, low-cost
service ...") would make the minimum wireline phone service cost about
$45./month with these same "fees" plus taxes added on.

It seems ironic that the NY regulatory group welcomed the Telecom Act of
1994 which initially opened up the incumbent services to competition. Now
that the cable and other telecom service suppliers are getting into the
VoIP services, the regulators are now actually letting the incumbents
eliminate the basic services so they can "compete(?)(!)

Speaking of VoIP competitors, I ran across (in March 2006 issue of VON
Magazine -- page 17) a "new" entrant into the market with an even
lower price for unlimited outgoing local and long distance calling
plus unlimited incoming calls (includes E911, too) for a very low
price of $19.99 USD/month for US and Canada. Check out YAK World City
VoIP at (click on the YAK Unlimited link.)

I'm one of those "modern" people with a ever present cell phone (my
wife has one, too) but have maintained a land-line presence mostly for
the need to send/receive a occasional FAX. So I had the cheapest
service (as described above) but if the PSC gives in and grants the
change, then I probably will give up the land-line.

Wonder if I can connect my FAX "machine" to my cell?

John Stahl
Aljon Enterprises
Telecom and Data Consultant

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think you can connect your fax
machine to the cell phone. I know that with Cingular Wireless, to
name just the example I am familiar with, for around $50.00 per month
you can get some sort of PC card for your computer (which would be
for fax as well) allowing you to use cellular for modems. I guess the
speed is not all that great, however. PAT]

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