Published Articles by David Balovich
||CAN TELEPHONE COMPANIES CHARGE
LONG DISTANCE FEES FOR INTERNET ACCESS?
Internet fact or fiction?
At the beginning of this year I received several e-mails from readers wanting to know if I
was familiar with a bill pending before Congress that would permit telephone companies to
charge long distance fees for Internet access. Several e-mails contained the house bill
number and believed that passage was imminent. Several suggested that I write a column to
warn our readers of this heinous act being passed without our knowledge.
I contacted the local offices of my elected representatives to obtain more information. I
recently received a response to my inquiry from one of my representatives, Congressman
Dick Armey. The following is an excerpt from his letter to me.
"In reply to your letter and numerous other letters and calls to my office including
erroneous news reports that Congress is considering allowing a long distance charge on
telephone bills for Internet calls, I would like to set the record straight. This rumor is
FALSE. This is another urban myth of the Internet. Congress is not now considering any
bill, nor has there been any proposal made by any member of the House, to allow a
telephone charge for Internet users.
The Federal Communications Commission does not regulate Internet service and there is no
open comment period on this issue before the FCC.
Last year we (Congress) passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which established a three
year moratorium on Internet taxation. This included not only access charges but also the
collection of sales taxes from any entity outside your home state. I am confident a
similar measure will be passed again by the House of Representatives when it comes up for
another vote. Mr. Balovich you did the right thing in contacting my office regarding the
information you received. All too often friendly e-mail is
anything but and should be verified by the source before being relied on as truth."
We as creditors, in our day to day duties, rely on facts not opinions. It should be
important to all of us to verify any informationreceived as fact before communicating the
information to others, whether it be management, sales or customers.
For those of you who encouraged me to write this article concerning this information, I am
happy to oblige.
I wish you well.
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