May 31, 2000

Washington, DC- The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) had advocated to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it approve the proposal submitted by the Coalition of Affordable Local and Long Distance Service (CALLS) concerning access charges. In light of the FCC’s adoption of this proposal CCIA President/CEO Ed Black stated, “this is something that will hasten deployment of broadband services and permit dynamic growth in the Internet backbone. We filed in support of the proceeding and delineated the importance to consumers and what it would mean to the industry as a whole.”

This decision will greatly benefit the long distance, local carriers as well as consumers. With the $4 billion reduction in long distance costs, consumers should realize a significant reduction in their long distance telephone bills. The decrease in access charges is a 25% reduction in the industry’s biggest cost item – access. And will allow long distance carriers or IXC’s to provide lower priced and more competitive services to their customers. Local exchange carriers receive a five-year period of pricing certainty.

The overall future effect for both carriers is a more competitive marketplace where prices are more closely related to costs. This allows the industry to set prices more in line with costs and establishes a more transparent cost structure, which should encourage greater price competition.

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