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March 20, 1988

BULLETIN BOARD VICTORY: FCC DROPS ACCESS CHARGE PLAN

By CBR Staff Writer

The proposal by the US Federal Communications Commission to impose burdensome access charges on the connection of local telephone users to electronic information services has been quietly dropped according to Congressional sources. The plan to bring data services into line with speech telephony was greeted by howls of protest from operators and users alike, on the grounds that it would make electronic mail and information services like MCI Mail, Dialcom and The Source uneconomic, and drive many of them out of business. The charges, which would have led to a doubling of the cost of using a service, were to have come into effect in January but were put back to April after the outcry. But the FCC is going ahead with its plan to levy access charges for connecting large private corporate networks to the local telephone network at a rate of $4.50 per user-hour connect time.

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