Press Release from AT&T.
Re: Assessment of Fee for Universal Service.
Date: June 18, 1998.
Source: AT&T.


AT&T assessing flat fee on monthly residential bills for Universal Service Fund

Company shifts from original plan to assess a monthly percentage charge, saying flat fee is simpler, more predictable for consumers

WASHINGTON – AT&T announced today that beginning in July, it will assess residential customers a 93-cent flat monthly fee to help recover the company's $1.3 billion annual Universal Service Fund payment.

"We've decided that a flat charge is a better alternative for our residential customers because it is more predictable and simpler to understand than a percentage charge," said Rick Bailey, AT&T vice president - federal government affairs, pointing out that AT&T had initially planned to assess a 5-percent monthly residential charge.

Bailey said that even though residential customers will begin paying the new monthly charge, average long-distance rates continue to decline as access fee reductions are passed along and customers take advantage of more attractive discount calling plans.

AT&T said the flat charge is designed to recover only what the company owes for its contribution to the Universal Service Fund and no more. Residential customers will pay 93 cents a month per account, regardless of how many phone lines they have.

Business customers, who have been paying a 4.9 percent assessment since January for the Universal Service Fund, will continue to pay a percentage assessment, which will drop to 4.1 percent.