US Senate Action Could Mean $14 Million Kentucky Funding Loss

The US Senate Commerce Committee has approved legislation that could mean additional charges being added to phone bills for Kentucky residents. If the bill is passed by Congress, telephone companies in Kentucky could be looking for ways to replace the funding that comes from the Universal Service fund.

(PRWEB) October 11, 2004 -- The US Senate Commerce Committee has approved legislation that could mean additional charges being added to phone bills for Kentucky residents. If the bill is passed by Congress, telephone companies in Kentucky could be looking for ways to replace the funding that comes from the Universal Service fund.

Currently, 10 states - Kentucky among them - receive funding from the federally approved fund, while 40 receive nothing. Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Maine, Vermont, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, as well as Kentucky split the estimated $277 million Universal Service funds each year.

This year, Kentucky could receive as much as $17 million from the program. Under a proposed formula, Kentucky would receive only $3.2 million, the $13.8 million shortfall presumably being recovered through increased costs to customers of the traditional telephone companies, perhaps through additional fees on customers' phone bills.

The Universal Service fee is only one charge that phone companies add to customer bills that often masquerade as taxes or government mandated charges. Many of these charges merely enrich the big telephone companies and confuse consumers.

According to Jim Bellina, president of Dialog Telecommunications, unlike many charges added to phone bills that only confuse the consumer while increasing phone company profits, this one was designed to serve a valid public need by helping to ensure that the cost of phone service in the most rural areas is reasonable.

"There is clearly good reason to reform the Universal Service program. The intentions of the program are good, but it needs to be revised to eliminate the windfall that it gives to many traditional phone companies. I am concerned that as part of this reform there will be even more fees buried in the details of the traditional phone company bills," says Bellina.

"If everyone would follow our "tru-price" approach, with the quoted prices including all taxes and fees, consumers would be much better served."

Dialog Telecommunications is an innovator in telephone service for businesses and consumers. The company offers telephone service with no fine print, gimmickry, taxes, or hidden charges.

Dialog customers pay the same amount each month, and save 30 - 60 percent off their current phone bills.

Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/10/prweb165836.htm