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Bell Atlantic ISDN Pricing Alert
INFO-POLICY-NOTES/subscriptions from email@example.com
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
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org/202-387-8030
Consumer Project on Technology
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