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Bell Atlantic ISDN Pricing Alert

  INFO-POLICY-NOTES/subscriptions from listproc@essential.org
  June 26, 1996
  ISDN pricing in Bell Atlantic States
  -    CPT sets up Web page for Bell Atlantic Consumers at:
  -    Maryland Accepts comments on ISDN rates by electronic
       mail (ISDN@psc.state.md.us) and sets public hearing for
       July 3.  Additional details about battles in other
       Bell Atlantic States.
  Bell Atlantic consumers in Maryland, New Jersey, 
  Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia have an 
  opportunity to fight for lower residential ISDN tariffs, if 
  you act swiftly.  [Virginia already has an open docket on 
  residential ISDN pricing, and filings in West Virginia are 
  expected soon].
  In Maryland, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has agreed 
  to accept comments on the issue by electronic mail, at: 
  ISDN@psc.state.md.us.  Maryland is also giving the public an 
  opportunity to be heard at a public hearing on July 3.  
  Commissions in NJ, PA and DC have declined to provide a 
  public hearing on the tariffs, or to accept comments by 
  electronic mail, but they will accept written comments.  CPT 
  has set up a Bell Atlantic ISDN Action page on the Web with 
  information about the proceedings at:
  Briefly, Bell Atlantic (BA) is asking for tariffs which are 
  based upon the amount of time that you use the ISDN 
  connection, and this can add up.  A "BRI" ISDN line gives 
  you two 64 Kbps "B" channels, which can be "bonded" into a 
  fast 128 Kbps connection (referred to as 2B).  You can also 
  use BRI ISDN as two separate voice or fax lines, with 
  multiple telephone numbers, or the line can be dynamically 
  configured on the fly.
  BA is asking for 2 cents per minute (per B channel)from 7 am 
  to 7 pm, or 1 cent per minute from 7 pm to 7 am.  If you use 
  the faster 128 Kbps connection (isn't' the point of ISDN to 
  have a faster connection?), it would cost from $2.40 to 
  $1.20 per hour to make a local call to your Internet service 
  provider (ISP).
  BA also offers "callpack" options, where the consumer can 
  pre-purchase blocks of time at large discounts.  For 
  example, one could buy the 140 hours callpack for $60 per 
  month.  This would allow a user to have 70 hours at 128 Kbps 
  (or 140 hours at 64 Kpbs).  But you have to pay for the time 
  even if you don't use it, and if you go over, you are stuck 
  with the hefty per-minute fees.  The BA flat rate option is 
  a whopping $249 per month, the most expensive in the United 
  The BA tariffs are not inevitable.  Quite a few states have 
  adopted much lower residential ISDN tariffs.  Highly 
  relevant is the recent decision by the Delaware PSC 
  approving a flat rate residential ISDN tariff of $28.02, 
  about $221 less than the rate requested by Bell Atlantic.  
  In Arkansas, the Northern Arkansas Telephone Company charges 
  only $17.90 per month, flat rate, for residential ISDN 
  service. In California, the Roseville Telephone Company 
  charges $29.50 for residential ISDN. Four of the five 
  Midwest states served by Ameritech offer ISDN at a little 
  more than twice the POTS rate with no per minute charges 
  (Illinois $28.05 to $34.50, Ohio $32.20, Michigan $33.51, 
  and Wisconsin $30.90). In Tennessee, BellSouth charges $25 
  to $29 for flat rate ISDN. In New Mexico, the Commission 
  recently approved a $40 flat rate.
  You can get a better Bell Atlantic ISDN tariff if you fight 
  now!  The most important immediate thing is to get comments 
  into the record in opposition to the BA filing, and to ask 
  for lower rates.  It is also helpful to call up the 
  Commission in your state and talk to the staff person who is 
  assigned to the issue.
  In addition to the Bell Atlantic ISDN Action page 
  you might find these links helpful. 
  CPT's ISDN pricing talking points:
  Fred Goldstein's ISDN pricing talking points.
       James Love (love@tap.org/202-387-8030
       Consumer Project on Technology
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