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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

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).

June 2, 1998


In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress expanded universal service to include advanced telecommunications services to all public and private schools grades K-12 and public libraries. Congress wisely recognized the importance of making communications technology available for all citizens - rich or poor - as a way to prepare the next generation to compete in a global information age economy.

But companies that say they will pass on new charges should also commit to pass on reductions and they should disclose both. They should not take advantage of consumers by overbilling their customers and then blaming it on the government. That is why we must make sure that all consumers receive the benefits of the FCC's procompetitive policies, including access charge reductions.

Not only must consumers be fully informed about what they are paying for on their monthly phone bills, consumers should also benefit from the savings the telephone companies are realizing. No one at the FCC supports a "hidden tax" on phone bills; but neither can we allow a "hidden rate increase." We are working to make sure that consumers get the full truth so that they can make informed decisions.

- FCC -