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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).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 3, 1999
PRESS STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN WILLIAM E. KENNARD ON SETTLEMENT RATE ENFORCEMENT FOR CYPRUS AND KUWAIT
I commend today's action enforcing the Commission's 1997 Benchmarks Order. The goal
of the Benchmarks Order was to reduce inflated settlement payments -- ultimately borne by U.S.
consumers -- to more cost-based levels, and in so doing to reduce the cost of international
service. In 1997 when the Commission issued the Benchmarks Order, U.S. carriers were paying
$5.4 billion to foreign carriers to terminate U.S.-originated calls. At least 70% of this represented
a pure above-cost subsidy by U.S. consumers of foreign carriers. Such subsidies are untenable in
today's increasingly competitive global telecommunications market.|