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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

February 25, 2000

Michael Balmoris at 202-418-0253


I am very encouraged by what appears to be a responsible modification of the CALLS proposal. I have publicly and repeatedly said, that, in order to win my support, the industry needs to consider the legitimate interests of residential and business consumers. The summary of the proposed changes filed today appears to be responsive to this concern. I look forward to hearing from consumer groups and from the states after a revised CALLS plan is put out for comment.

It appears to me that the main tangible, immediate consumer benefits of these modifications are:

  • An agreement to remove at least $4.50 from the monthly bill in fixed flat charges for consumers who make few long distance telephone calls; this includes an agreement by the long distance companies to offer a basic schedule rate plan with no minimum charge for a period of 5 years;

  • Over $2 billion in access charge reductions which the companies have pledged to pass through to both residential and business customers;

  • An agreement to commence a proceeding before an increase in the SLC cap over $5. This will enable the FCC to ensure that any future increase, if necessary, will be cost justified based on the forward looking cost methods that we have used in other proceedings.
These changes appear to be substantial. I look forward to hearing from the consumer community in the coming weeks, and to working with my colleagues for an expeditious resolution of these issues. I applaud the companies for working with each other, the consumer community and the commission staff to propose a principled compromise that will bring certainty and stability to the market. This important step will help to dismantle the legacy regulatory structure and bring us into the Internet Age.