LINGUIST List 3.364

Fri 24 Apr 1992

FYI: FCC to Charge for Modem Use?

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , FCC to Charge Modems

Message 1: FCC to Charge Modems

Date: 24 April 92, 20:55:52 EDT FCC to Charge Modems
From: <>
Subject: FCC to Charge Modems

Two years ago the FCC tried and (with your help and letters of
protest) failed to institute regulations that would impose additional
costs on modem users for data communications.

Now, they are at it again. A new regulation that the FCC is quietly
working on will directly affect you as the user of a computer and
modem. The FCC proposes that users of modems should pay extra charges
for use of the public telephone network which carry their data. In
addition, computer network services such as CompuServ, Tymnet, &
Telenet would also be charged as much as $6.00 per hour per user for
use of the public telephone network. These charges would very likely
be passed on to the subscribers.

The money is to be collected and given to the telephone company in an
effort to raise funds lost to deregulation.

Jim Eason of KGO newstalk radio (San Francisco, CA) commented on the
proposal during his afternoon radio program during which, he said he
learned of the new regulation in an article in the New York Times.
Jim took the time to gather the addresses which are given below.

Here's what you should do (NOW!):

 1- Pass this information on. Capture the information which contains
 the text you are reading now. Find other BBS's that are not
 carrying this information. Upload the ASCII text into a public
 message on the BBS, and also upload the file itself so others can
 easily get a copy to pass along.

 2- Print out three copies of the letter which follows (or write your
 own) and send a signed copy to each of the following:

 Chairman of the FCC
 1919 M Street N.W.
 Washington, D.C. 20554

 Chairman, Senate Communication Subcommittee
 SH-227 Hart Building
 Washington, D.C. 20510

 Chairman, House Telecommunication Subcommittee
 B-331 Rayburn Building

Here's the suggested text of the letter to send:

 Dear Sir,

 Please allow me to express my displeasure with the FCC proposal
 which would authorize a surcharge for the use of modems on the
 telephone network. This regulation is nothing less than an attempt
 to restrict the free exchange of information among the growing
 number of computer users. Calls placed using modems require no
 special telephone company equipment, and users of modems pay the
 phone company for use of the network in the form of a monthly bill.

 In short, a modem call is the same as a voice call and therefore
 should not be subject to any additional regulation.

 [your name, address and signature]

It is important that you act now. The bureaucrats already have it in
their heads that modem users should subsidize the phone company and
are now listening to public comment. Please stand up and make it clear
that we will not stand for any government restriction on the free
exchange of information.

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