FCC delays implementation of increase in local phone rates

Thanks in part to the unified voice of America’s rural telecommunications companies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to change its approach to an increase in local phone service rates.

Earlier this year the FCC announced a new “rate floor” for rural telecommunications services that, if enacted in full, would have forced some rural companies to raise their local phone service rates by as much as 40 percent this summer.

NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association filed a notice with the FCC expressing concern on behalf of the nation’s rural telecommunications companies and their consumers.

Toward the end of April, the FCC announced a decision to delay implementation of the rate floor increase until January 2015, and to phase in the increase over a longer period.

This increase in the rate floor is intended to bring rates across the country into better balance. To comply with the new minimum, some telecommunications providers would be forced to raise their rates for local phone service by as much as $6 per month.

We will continue to keep you updated through the pages of our magazine, and to work through NTCA to ensure your voice is heard in Washington, D.C., on important issues that impact telecommunications services across rural America.