Opposing the Application of End-User Charges to Recover
Costs Related to the Telecommunications Act of 1996

WHEREAS, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Act) allowed competition for local exchange services and required certain regulatory and network changes in order to accommodate that competition;

WHEREAS, local service competition has been slow to appear and has not yet provided substantial benefits to consumers, particularly residential consumers;

WHEREAS, the Act generally requires that implementation costs be recovered from all telecommunications carriers in an equitable and nondiscriminatory manner;

WHEREAS, many parties to FCC proceedings have proposed end-user charges in order to recover various costs related to the implementation of the Act;

WHEREAS, on May 12, 1998, the FCC released an Order concerning Telephone Number Portability that will allow Local Exchange Carriers to recover such costs through a consumer surcharge;

WHEREAS, interexchange carriers have instituted end-user charges to recover universal service fund contributions despite their having enjoyed offsetting cost reductions;

WHEREAS, it is not appropriate to levy end-user charges for costs related to the Act, especially since consumers have received little benefit from competition created by the Act;

WHEREAS, it is particularly inappropriate to increase residential charges for end users as residential consumers have received the least benefit from local service competition; and

WHEREAS, the revenues and earnings of telecommunications companies continue to be relatively high, efficiency gains continue to be realized at an increasing rate and it is neither necessary nor appropriate to apply additional end-user charges to consumers.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) opposes increasing consumer bills through additional end-user charges to recover costs related to the implementation of the Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NASUCA authorizes its Executive Committee to develop specific positions and to take appropriate actions consistent with the terms of this resolution. The Executive Committee shall advise the membership of any proposed action prior to taking action if possible. In any event the Executive Committee shall notify the membership of any action pursuant to this resolution.

Approved by NASUCA:

Submitted by:

Seattle, WA

NASUCA Telecommunications Committee

June 10, 1998

Martha Hogerty (MO), Chair
Charlie Beck (FL)
Regina Costa (CA)
Theresa Czarski (MD)
Elliot Elam (SC)
Douglas Elfner (NY)
Simon ffitch (WA)
Karen Hardie (OH)
Alice Hyde (IA)
Wayne Jortner (ME)
Heikki Leesment (NJ)
Karen Long (NC)

Robert Manifold (WA)
Philip McClelland (PA)
Michael McNamara (CA)
Garth Morrisette (MN)
Thorvald Nelson (CO)
Laurie Pappas (TX)
B. Robert Piller (NY)
Julie Rones (DC)
Amy Schwab (VA)
Timothy Seat (IN)
Michael Travieso (MD)
Charles Van Dyke (NV)
Richard Wiener (NM)