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IP: FCC/Telco issues (fwd)
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: IP: FCC/Telco issues (fwd)
- From: James Love <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 00:09:23 -0500 (EST)
new coalition on ISPs and network access fees.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 19:42:35 -0500
From: Dave Farber <email@example.com>
To: interesting-people mailing list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: IP: FCC/Telco issues
WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1996 NOV 15 (NB) -- By Bill Pietrucha.
Internet users, take heart. A number of information technology
companies and trade associations are trying to keep Internet usage fees
from climbing. Yesterday marked the advent of the DATA Coalition,
formed to protect consumers from efforts by Incumbent Local
Exchange Carriers (ILECs) to hike fees for Internet usage.
The Coalition, chaired by the Information Technology Association of
America (ITAA), and the Information Technology Industry Council
(ITI), is designed to ensure that the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) doesn't require Internet users to pay more for
access through the same old voice telephone network; and to ensure
that the FCC encourages the deployment of computer-friendly
telecommunications technology and the introduction of true local
According to ITI president, Rhett Dawson, the Coalition maintains that
the local telephone companies have been slow to provide data-friendly
digital connections and are resisting the introduction of competition.
Dawson said that Coalition members "believe the health and continued
growth of the Internet are at stake."
"Ironically, these same local telephone companies that have failed to
provide efficient data network alternatives and are aggressively
marketing second telephone lines for Internet access are now
complaining about excessive demand on their networks," Dawson
said. "Their solution is to charge Internet users new fees before
providing advanced technology that is appropriate for handling online
ITAA president, Harris Miller, concurred. "In a truly competitive
environment, everyone need only pay for the access that he or she
needs," Miller said. "This is what the Internet age demands. But in the
meantime, we reject the idea that the Internet users pay for parts of the
voice telephone network they don't need, that isn't even appropriate to
handle data traffic."
"While the rest of the world zooms toward the 21st Century, the
ILECs are trotting back toward the 19th," Miller said.
"We believe the phone companies' arguments are economically and
technically unsound," said Intel's Paul Meisner. Meisner chairs the
Coalition's Steering Committee.
"We will identify alternatives to the phone companies' approach to the
growing demand for Internet services that are more efficient," Meisner
said. He added that "our solutions would eliminate congestion on the
networks, significantly improve the quality of Internet access, and
result in a healthier competitive environment."
According to the Coalition, the Internet charge issue could be raised by
the FCC in December as part of its rulemaking on access charge
reform. These new rules will determine what the local phone
companies can charge for access to their networks.
Under current rules, enhanced service providers (ESPs), such as
Internet service providers, are classified as "users" and do not pay
access charges, Meisner told Newsbytes.
Access charges, Meisner explained, are per-minute fees paid by long
distance and telephone companies to ILECs for originating and
terminating long distance calls.
Although many local telephone companies have announced they will
ask the FCC to make ESPs pay these additional charges as a means of
reducing Internet and other enhanced services traffic, Meisner said, the
DATA Coalition "believes it would be more appropriate for the FCC to
address ESP access in a separate proceeding, to be undertaken as soon
as possible, on new telecommunications technology.
In addition to ITI and ITAA, the Coalition includes the American
Electronics Association (AEA) and the Business Software Alliance
(BSA). Companies represented by the DATA Coalition include
America Online, Apple, Compaq, Compuserve, Digital Equipment
Corporation, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell and Oracle.
(19961115/Press Contact: Bob Cohen, ITAA, tel 703-284-5333)