Verizon and BellSouth DSL Users Won't See Lower Bills as Fee Ends (Wall Street Journal) Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 12:55:47

Amy Schatz reports on page 2 of the Wall Street Journal today that Verizon and BellSouth plan to pocket the savings from the discontinuation of the "federal fund that subsidizes phone services in rural areas and for low-income consumers."

Last year the federal government changed the rules so that DSL subscribers would no longer have to pay the monthly fee, which runs about $1.25 to $3, depending on the speed of the consumer's service.

The two phone companies dropped the so-called universal-service fee for their customers, but created new fees that are "almost exactly what consumers would have saved with the government's change."

Schatz concludes, "It appears that the two companies are pocketing the money that consumers would have saved, although both dispute the notion."

(Editorial comment: Yeah, right.)

The entire story appears on page 2 of today's editions and can be read at, a subscription-based Web site.