Saturday, August 26, 2006

Verison DSL should be ashamed...

I received this email from Verizon, my DSL provider...



Dear Valued Verizon Online Customer,
Effective August 14, 2006, Verizon Online will stop charging the FUSF (Federal Universal Ser vice Fund) recovery fee. We will stop being assessed the fee by our DSL network suppliers. Therefore, we will no longer be recovering this fee from our customers. The impact of the FUSF fee is as follows: for customers of Verizon Online with service up to 768Kbps, the fee eliminated is $1.25 a month; for customers of Verizon Online with service up to 1.5 Mbps or 3Mbps, the fee eliminated is $2.83 a month (based on current FUSF surcharge amounts). On your bill that includes charges for August 14, 2006 you will see either a partial FUSF Recovery Fee or no FUSF line item at all, depending on your bill cycle.
Starting August 26, 2006, Verizon Online will begin charging a Supplier Surcharge for all new DSL customers, existing customers with a DSL monthly or bundle package, and existing DSL annual plan customers at the time their current annual plan expires. This surcharge is not a government imposed fee or a tax; however, it is intended to help offset costs we incur from our network supplier in providing Verizon Online DSL service. The Supplier Surcharge will initially be set at $1.20 a month for Verizon Online DSL customers with service up to 768Kbps and $2.70 per month for customers with DSL service at higher speeds.
On balance your total bill will remain about the same as it has been or slightly lower.
For more information, see the Announcement in the Help section of Verizon Central, located at http://central.verizon.net
We regret the need to add this Supplier Surcharge, but we thank you for choosing high speed Verizon Online DSL. We appreciate and value your business.
Sincerely,
Verizon Online
Broadband Customer Care Team


We finally get rid of a very old and very stupid tax; only to see it replaced by a fee of almost the exact same size... What a crock... I may have to change providers...

Mike Sylvester

6 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

This is just the beginning. The Republican party is currently being lobbied VERY hard by the telecom giants - and for what? Well they want to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act - and the new bills in both the House and the Senate are about as anti-consumer as they get.

I don't even know where to begin to list all the bad things about these bills:

1)Universal Service (Slush) Fund increases on local/toll, wireless and VoIP calls. Keep in mind that this provides around $4 Billion dollars per year in direct subsidies back to telecom companies.

2)An additional 1% tax on cable companies that will passed directly to the consumer

3)The service standard would only be set at 200kbps - 500 times lower than current Asian standards of 100Mbps

4)Anti Net-Neutrality. I don't want to get started on this as I'll be steaming mad all afternoon if I do. Suffice to say that the telecom companies want to change the architecture of the internet so that it benefits them financially. The catch, it won't benefit consumers. Every single tech company and consumer advocacy group are against these bills. Yet the Republican party insists on shoving them down the American throat.

I think voters need to ask themselves "why is that?" This also highlights why we need to remove the legalized bribery system we currently have and replace it with publicly financed elections.

Oh, and of course Mark Souder voted FOR the House bill and AGAINST the net-neutrality amendment.

Robert Enders said...

I HATE Verizon. I switched to cable internet, which is slightly more expensive. But I offset the cost by using internet phone, which runs about $14 to $25 a month, and that includes long distance. The only drawbacks are that internet phone service will not work during a power outage and I cannot receive collect calls. Plus I have to buy some equipment but that is offset when I save money in the long run.

Mike Kole said...

As ever, the solution is to get government power out of telecom. End the franchising. End the semi-monopolies. Do this and you will take away the incentive for the massive lobbying for subsidies, protections.

Publicly financed elections will do *nothing* to eliminate the urge by corporations to lobby for subsidies.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

You say:

"Do this and you will take away the incentive for the massive lobbying for subsidies, protections."

but then you also say:

"Publicly financed elections will do *nothing* to eliminate the urge by corporations to lobby for subsidies."

These are completely contradictory statements. Do you not think that if politicians didn't have to rely on corporate "donations" to finance their campaign then the incentive for lobbying would diminish?

What is their current lobbying tool? It's not their good looks and charm - it's campaign contributions. It's bribery - plain and simple. And I think there can be NO DOUBT that publicly financed elections would help stem the corruption in congress.

Robert Enders said...

Jeff,
There are other reasons why an elected official might support corporate welfare:

1. Donations to a PAC that either endorses the candidate's issues or denounces his opponent.
2. A sincere (but mistaken) belief that government grants to a business are good for the economy.
3. If the business is located within or near the official's district, that official will vote to subsidize that business and brag to his constituents that he is bringing jobs to the community.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Robert,

There is no doubt that publicly financed elections will not end all the problems our government faces but to say it will do "nothing" is quite a stretch in my opinion...